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Racing To School Event

 Racing to Schools (Dalham Hall Stud) visit – Monday 22nd May 2017

 

On Monday 22nd May 2017, with the help of the ‘Racing to School’ charity, a group of children from Cottenham Primary School were lucky enough to visit Dalham Hall Stud, Godolphin’s breeding centre in Newmarket.

They spent the day learning about how the stud works and were allowed a behind the scenes tour of the stables and yard. After visiting the stallions in the stable block, the children had the opportunity to watch the magnificent creatures in their paddocks. They particularly enjoyed watching Dubawi, the Stud’s most valuable stallion, galloping around in the lush, green grass.

After some time in the classroom learning some equestrian vocabulary and the correct names for the male and female horses, the children were treated to a ride out the paddocks where the pregnant mares and the foals were lazing in the sun. To begin with the foals and mares kept their distance, forcing the children to wait, still and quiet, in the hope that they might come closer. Eventually, curiosity got the better of the young foals and, alongside their protective mothers, they wandered over to meet the children.

Following a delicious lunch, the children spent some time learning about how racehorses are named and why a horse’s family tree (pedigree) is an important part of the breeding programme. They learnt that the pedigree of 90% of all thoroughbred racehorses can be traced back to just four stallions back in the eighteenth century, one of which is Dubawi’s great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great-grandfather!

Before boarding the coach to come back to school, there was just one last treat in store. The children took turns to ride the ‘Equiciser’, a mechanical racehorse, adopting the correct stance of a jockey. The children found this really tiring and, as Tommy said “my legs were burning after ten seconds and they do that for a whole race!”

 

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