Racing to School's Judith Allen gives potential future champions a demonstration on the Equicizer

Racing to School team inspire young riders attending Arabian Raceday

Persistent heavy rainfall did not dampen the mood at another successful Dubai International Arabian Raceday at Newbury Racecourse on Sunday. A crowd of over 6,000 braved the elements to enjoy the top-class Purebred Arabian racing, a whole host of free family activities and some amazing prizes, including a brand new car.

The ever-popular Arabian Rainbow Horses competition drew a number of fantastic entries from 13 West Berkshire and Hampshire schools, who competed by decorating their own life-size painted horse. This community art project has injected more than £100,000 in prize money to schools in the area since its launch in 2009. The winner this year was Welford & Wickham Church of England Primary School.

Welford & Wickham Church of England Primary School are presented with their prize. Photo:

As usual, each of the participating schools sent representatives to take part in a Racing to School activity day before racing commenced. The two groups were given an introduction to the busy weighing room and had plenty of time to enjoy expert tuition on the charity’s Equicizer. They were also taken up to the grandstand and to watch racing.

The best children’s home-made hat competitions were as popular as ever. Boys and girls battled out to win an ipad. Some of the contenders can be seen below:

There was no shortage of entertainment for young racefans, with face painting, henna artists, inflatable horse hoppers, a children’s art workshop and falconry, all contributing to what was a fantastic day out for all the family.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is Patron of the Dubai International Arabian Raceday and he was in attendance to see three of his horses win on the day. In the saddle, veteran French jockey Olivier Peslier lit up proceedings by completing a 115-1 four-timer, including all three of the Group 1 Purebred Arabian prizes

The Racing to School team at Newbury (from the left) John Pritchard, Judith Allen and John Blake