The Riding A Dream Academy is inspired by the incredible achievements of Khadijah Mellah who was the first British Muslim woman to ride in and win a British horse race. Its aims are to help other young people from underrepresented communities and non-horsey backgrounds get involved in the sport. Within the Academy, there are two programmes which will run during 2021/2 - The Khadijah Mellah Scholarship and the Riding a Dream Residential Week.
In 2019, Khadijah Mellah became the first British Muslim woman to ride in and win a British horse race when she won the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood racecourse. Khadijah learned to ride at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton and only sat on a racehorse a couple of months before the race. She has since gone onto become an ambassador for Great British Racing and is currently a student at Brighton University.
We are incredibly grateful to The Racing Foundation for funding the Riding A Dream Academy. The Foundation supports charitable work in the areas of social welfare, training & education, racehorse welfare, equine science research and heritage & culture. Since it began it has awarded grants totalling over £22million. You can find out more here.
The British Racing School is a specialist training centre in Newmarket, the headquarters of British horseracing. As horse racing’s premier training facility we are so pleased that the British Racing School will be looking after and supporting our young people who join both the Khadijah Mellah Scholarship and the Riding A Dream Residential Week. You can find out more about the school and it’s amazing state of the art facilities here .
The Riding A Dream Academy was conceived as an idea by Philip Bell and has been developed by his brother, ITV presenter, Oli Bell and Great British Racing's Naomi Lawson, all of whom were producers of the documentary film of the same name which followed Khadijah's extraordinary story.
Racing is the second biggest spectator sport in the UK and home to some of the world's most prestigious sporting events including the Derby, Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot. To find out more go to Great British Racing.