A STOW-on-the-Wold teenager is bidding to be a future star of the turf.
Kieran Shoemark, 16, is attending a top course run by the Newmarket-based British Racing School.
He has enjoyed a fine start in the industry and is currently working at Andrew Balding’s yard in Kingsclere, Hampshire.
The four-week foundation course is designed to prepare him for a future in racing and gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the residential programme.
Shoemark, who has also competed in athletics for Bourton Roadrunners, is following in illustrious footsteps with twotime British champion flat jockey Paul Hanagan a product of the course.
The Cotswold teenager said: “I’ve ridden out for trainers before and thought I could ride but I realise there’s a lot more to it — from stable management to being a horseman, looking out for signs that a horse is feeling well or not, looking after a stable and yard work.”
The course aims to school youngsters in all the areas they need to successfully join a yard and there are 70 retired racehorses needing care and attention.
Each day, the students ride the horses, muck out the stables and take part in yard duty.
There are also gym facilities to improve riders’ fitness and classroom work, including maths and English exams to ensure students have a range of skills. Rory MacDonald, the British Racing School chief executive, said: “There’s no doubting the course is tough but that’s to help prepare the young people for the realities of racing.
“We work hard to develop them so they come out of the course as rounded individuals.”
The course is free and open to anyone aged between 16 and 22 who is keen to work in racing.
There is also a nine-week version which caters for complete beginners and all participants are guaranteed a job in racing at the end.
For a video offering an insight into the life of Shoemark go to lovetheraces.com/features/stars-of-the-future.
For more details of the school, visit brs.org.uk