A first for BHEST and World Horse Welfare in education initiative to bring horse care and school subjects to life


The British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) joined forces with World Horse Welfare for the first time on 12 September to run a day for 20 children from Great Hockham primary. The children, aged 7-8, were taking part in an educational experience delivered jointly by the two charities at World Horse Welfare Hall Farm in Norfolk.

Some of the school children from Great Hockham primary with Zeam and Chrissy Copeham of World Horse Welfare

This was the first time that BHEST, whose Racing to School programme brings children to racing environments including racecourses, studs and trainer’s yards with the aim of making school subjects more fun and engaging, have delivered an educational day at a non-racing venue.

On the day, the youngsters were thrilled to meet the rescued horses. Learning outside and being inspired by meeting real horses, really brought learning to life. The hands-on, practical approach of World Horse Welfare staff complements the mission of BHEST to address the core curriculum subjects by setting the children tasks to accomplish while sparking their wider interest in horses and sport.  Bringing learning outdoors can be a real inspiration for children, as can meeting those who work hard to help wonderful horses in need.

The pupils learnt how to recognise horse markings and colours, how to safely lead and catch a pony, and how to mark up a horse passport. They also learnt how to measure and weigh a horse and pony care including feeding and grooming. A riding demonstration rounded off a busy but fun day where World Horse Welfare grooms rode rehabilitated horses, all of which are available for rehoming. Each child left with a goodie bag which included details of the charity’s free Junior membership, puzzles, and stationery featuring some of World Horse Welfare’s rescued horses.  

Judith Allen BHEST’s Executive Director organised the day in cooperation with John Blake Director of Fundraising at World Horse Welfare.  Judith said, “On our usual Racing to School days children always tell us how much they would like to touch the horses but in a racing environment this is rarely possible.

“Our partnership with World Horse Welfare enabled us to realise a dream for this group of children, support them to practise their school subjects outside in the open air and increase their understanding of horse welfare.” 

World Horse Welfare Director of Fundraising John Blake said of the day, “This is BHEST’s first venture to a non-racing horse centre and it is also a first for World Horse Welfare. Education is an important part of our work and we hope to welcome BHEST again next year.

“The children were certainly excited to see first-hand what’s involved in looking after our many rescued horses here at Hall Farm, and it is an interesting comparison to life at a racecourse or training yard, which are full of extremely valuable and super-fit racehorses. We are unique in our sector as we are the only charity that supports responsible use of horses in sport and our project with BHEST is a natural extension of our education work”.