Racing to School graduate Mark Wellsteed wastes no time in living his passion

The charity’s vision is to inspire young minds, and in 2009 programme participant Mark Wellsteed began a journey that has quickly developed into his full-time passion. Mark was one of the pupils from Forest School, Winnersh who enjoyed a Racing to School day at Newbury, led by Ollie McPhail.

“One thing that I remember and enjoyed the most is that we were allowed to put on the jockey silks. It felt like we were jockeys for the day,” said Mark.

Fast-forward eight years and the now 22 year-old has a racing passport to rival most Turf fans. On September 1st, Mark’s visit to Down Royal racecourse completed the full house of British and Irish racecourses. French racegoers will also find him a familiar face before too long.

“This all took a lot of planning because I was at school and then college so was restricted to weekends and the school holidays. I had some setbacks on the way. I went all the way to Perth in Scotland for a summer meeting and the meeting was abandoned due to a waterlogged course. I also went to a meeting at Fakenham and it was off due to frost when I arrived.”

Mark now works in the catering industry and is a committed member of Newbury racecourse; West Berkshire Racing Club; Cheltenham and Three Counties Race Club; the Racegoers Club and also Club Godolphin. And just in case his near once-a week visits to the track leave him unquenchable, subscriptions to Racing UK and ATR keep Mark connected to the action.

Well done Mark – we’re very proud of you.