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Graduate of Blagrave funded charity makes racecourse debut!

Just four years on from his first ever contact with a racehorse at Greatwood Charity, James Paget’s remarkable story continues. After leading in a Cheltenham Festival winner in 2015, James has now realised yet another dream that few ever do by making his racecourse debut as a jockey

“Before I went to Greatwood I had never had any contact with horses but as soon as I walked through the gates I knew that I wanted to work with horses for the rest of my life”

At Les Landes (Jersey) on Sunday 24th July 2016, aboard Fast Freddie in 4.15pm Animal Health Trust Celebration Mile (Handicap) James finished a credible 6th in a field of 10. A remarkable achievement for a young man whose first encounter with a horse was a little under four years earlier.

James attended Greatwood’s Get Going programme during the summer of 2012; James came to the charity from the Amber Foundation (a residential charity that offers a fresh start to homeless unemployed young adults and helps them gain employment and accommodation) via the Princes Trust.

“I was living in a hostel when I met someone that had been to th e Northern Racing College (NRC) when my ears pricked up and I thought that may be something I would like to do. Also when I got talking about racing one of the members of staff at the hostel informed me that he used to be a jockey. Through the Princes Trust I went to Greatwood where they gave me the opportunity to apply to come to the NRC on their 12 week residential foundation course. ”

The Blagrave Trust is delighted to be supporting Greatwood to give 8 young people per year who have SEN or are disengaged from school the opportunity to learn social, emotional, and work based skills in an equestrian setting.