Pupils are first past the post

A day at the races, Risedale Sports and Community College students take their studies in to the field with Laura McDermott front.
A day at the races, Risedale Sports and Community College students take their studies in to the field with Laura McDermott front.

A BUDDING jockey backed a winner when she went on a school field trip with a difference.

Laura McDermot spent the day with her classmates at Catterick Racecourse as part of an initiative which links the sport of kings to education.

The Risedale Sports and Community College student was among a party of 27 pupils and three staff from Hipswell taking part in the Race to School project.

Run by The British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust, it aims to show young people how their studies relate to the real world with a behind the scenes look at racing.

Laura, 13, of Colburn, has high hopes of following in the footsteps of her grandmother Sandra Williams who used to be a jockey.

“I have had a great day and it has really spurred me on to be a jockey,” she said.

“I love the adrenalin rush you get from riding a horse fast and the fact that being a jockey will mean I will spend my life around horses.”

The students spent the day with BEHEST’s executive director Judith Allen, ex-jockey Ollie McPhail and Carrie Ford, the country’s most successful female jockey, who once came fifth in the Grand National.

Pupils were able to examine the jumps to see how the fences were built, take a look at how photo-finishes work, measure the course and carry out maths exercises in the weighing room.

Students were also given the opportunity to judge the best turned out horses and present winners’ prizes.

Teacher Samantha Wood said: “It has been a fantastic way of seeing how school subjects can be applied to real world and the students have really enjoyed themselves.”