Hawick and Langholm pupils are given a unique insight into the horse racing industry

It was an odds-on that Hawick and Langholm pupils would relish a unique behind-the-scenes visit to a horse racing yard – and so it proved.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:42 am
Emma Sayer, SRA tutor, Shay Farmer, Ewan Whillans, Rhys Elliot and Archie Young. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Scottish Racing Academy and Racing to School recently gave students from both Hawick High School and Langholm Academy a special guided tour of Ewan Whillans Yard in Hawick.

The visit, part of National Racehorse Week, allowed youngsters to see at first hand the love, care and attention that goes into looking after the horses.

The day started with a walk to the gallops where they not only saw horses in full exercise but they were able to watch Rhys Elliott, a current Scottish Racing Academy student and pupil at Hawick High School, in action.

Emma Sayer, Scottish Racing Academy level 5 tutor and assessor, said: “This is invaluable to allow young people observe those of a similar age who are already fully involved within the racing industry.

"Whilst on the gallops, Carrie Ford (Racing to School) described and explained the morning routine care that goes into looking after thoroughbreds from feeding routine and exercise routine to what happens when the horses and staff go to the races.”

The trainer, Ewan Whillans, a past student from Hawick High School, was on hand to offer advice and words of wisdom to the youngsters as well as taking part in a question and answer session.”

Emma added: “Following a walk back to the yard, the students observed the horses being washed off, groomed and turned out into the paddocks which allowed them to speak with other members of staff to learn about all the protocols that are followed. “They also got to meet one of the yards’ owners John Elliot, whose family trust, the John & Mary Elliot Memorial Trust, is very kindly supporting the visits.”

Both Carrie and Emma then answered questions on career opportunities and courses available to young enthusiastic individuals who wish to pursue a career in racing at some point in the future.

"It was a very enjoyable morning for all involved and one we hope to build on it in the future,” Emma added.