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frequently asked questions

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  • What is the Riding A Dream Academy?
    The Riding A Dream Academy supports young people aged 13-16 from diverse ethnic communities, disadvantaged backgrounds and urban equestrian centres to get involved in British horse racing. The Academy runs several programmes – the Khadijah Mellah Scholarship which is a year-long programme, and Residential Weeks which act as a fun and interactive introduction to the sport for riders and non-riders and Taster Days for school groups and charities. All our courses are delivered by the British Racing School in Newmarket.
  • How is the Academy funded?
    We are very grateful to the Racing Foundation for kindly supporting the Riding A Dream Academy until summer 2025. The Foundation was set up with an endowment from the net proceeds of the UK government’s sale of the Tote with the principle aim of supporting charitable purposes associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry. It supports charitable work in the areas of equine welfare, people, community engagement and environment & emerging issues. Since it began, it has awarded grants totalling £23million. In 2023/24 the Residential Weeks are kindly funded by the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust. If you would like to contribute to the funding of the Academy, please contact Naomi Lawson at
  • What is the Khadijah Mellah Scholarship?
    The Scholarship takes place over the course of a year and starts with an introductory week at the British Racing School, followed by 11 monthly sessions at the British Racing School starting on Friday evenings through to Sunday afternoon. These sessions will include riding and horse care sessions and the chance to discover other aspects of the horse racing industry. If you’ve taken part in pony racing before, we will try to arrange additional races for you. At the end of the Scholarship you will have the chance to achieve a 1st4Sport Level 1 Award in the Structure and Organisation of the Horseracing industry and will be supported to take your next step within racing.
  • How do I apply?
    There is an application process for both our Scholarship programme and Residential Weeks. Please check back regularly to see when applications open. You will need parental / guardian permission to apply. We invite shortlisted candidates to an informal zoom chat with our instructors before making final decisions.
  • What does the Residential week involve?
    It is a fun, week-long introduction to British horse racing which will include riding the British Racing School horses, learning how to look after them and getting specialist training from the team of friendly experts at the school. There will also be trips to the races; the chance to visit top yards and meet some of the famous faces from the world of racing. We can cater for those with some horse and riding experience and also complete beginners.
  • How do I attend a Taster Day?
    Our Taster Days allow schools and charities the chance to bring 10 young people to the British Racing School to find out more about the sport. On the day students will each have the chance to ride a pony, have a go on a horse simulator and take part in a horse handling and grooming session. To book a day for your school or charity please email Unfortunately, we cannot take bookings for individuals.
  • How will I get to and from the British Racing School ?
    We can arrange transport for you to and from the Academy in line with the British Racing School’s transport policy. Please drop us a line to discuss your needs.
  • I don’t have all my own riding kit
    We know that not everyone will have all their own kit. Once you have been accepted onto the Scholarship or the Residential Week, we will be in touch with you to find out what you might need and we will then provide as much of it as possible for you, free of charge, thanks to our amazing partners, Champion Equestrian.
  • What is the British Racing School (BRS) like?
    The British Racing School is based in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, the headquarters of British horseracing. It runs a variety of horseracing courses throughout the year for people from all different walks of life and is particularly focused on training and nurturing talented young people. With its state of the art facilities, on site yard and accommodation and expert team of staff, the BRS is the perfect place to start your racing career.
  • What is the accommodation like ?
    Both the Khadijah Mellah Scholarship and the Riding A Dream Residential Week take place at the British Racing School where onsite accommodation is provided. Rooms are a combination of single and twin bedded and all have en-suite facilities. There is a Staff Flat located in the Hostel and this allows for 24 hour supervision. All meals will be provided by the BRS catering team.
  • What safeguarding polices are in place?
    The Academy programmes will take place at the British Racing School (BRS) in Newmarket whose full safeguarding policy is available here and that of the sport's governing body, the British Horseracing Authority, here. All of the staff at the BRS are trained in safeguarding and there is a designated safeguarding lead, together with a member of staff on site 24/7 to ensure that all attendees are safe and protected from harm. We will do everything possible to keep everyone taking part in the Riding A Dream Academy safe and well, and every reasonable measure will be taken to prevent accidents whilst at the BRS. However, as with any sport and one that involves horses, we do have to make sure that you and your parents / guardians are aware of the hazards and risks involved in working with racehorses.
  • It’s important that I am able to practice my religion whilst I’m on an Academy programme
    We’ll make every effort to accommodate your religious beliefs and practices whilst you’re on one of the Academy programmes at the British Racing School including setting aside a dedicated prayer room and all of the meat served in the canteen is halal. We’ll also help to arrange for you to attend a local place of worship if you wish.
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