Class of '23

Jack Ready

Jack is a 22-year-old graduate from Liverpool. Aside from watching or going horse racing, which generally takes up much of his time, Jack enjoys keeping fit, watching Liverpool win, and going out with friends.
He applied for The Racing Media Academy because he knew it would be his perfect opportunity. He has a massive passion for horse racing and recently graduated from university with a media, film and television degree. To Jack, this was the ideal and logical first step in what is hopefully a long career in racing media.

The main attribute he wants to gain from his week in Newmarket and his placement is experience. He wants to absorb as much information and learn as much as possible to gain valuable experience that he hopes will continue to benefit him in his career in years to come.

“My placement with Arena Racing Company following the Racing Media Academy has been and continues to be one of the best experiences I have had. To be working in the industry I love so much and to be part of the marketing team that makes some of the biggest race days in the racing calendar come to life is something I never thought I would be lucky enough to do. From day one, before that even, at interview stage, Aimee and the rest of the team made me feel so welcome and embraced me as a part of their team. With consistent meetings and communication with other team members, I was able to feel comfortable very quickly. I will always feel grateful to Aimee and the team for giving me this opportunity, and making the last few months so enjoyable.

My favourite part about working for ARC is operating their social media channels on race days. The business of trying to record the best and most engaging content is a great buzz to have, and it feels good to see how much engagement my posts receive in the following days. Having said this though, no day is the same as the last, and even on none race days, ARC is a fantastic company to work for, and I would highly recommend anyone who is thinking of applying to the RMA to do so, as, if my work experience is anything to go by, you will have a blast.”

Equine Productions logo

Joanna Grabowska

Joanna Grabowska is Polish and has lived in Great Britain for ten years. She is a qualified animal technician; animal physiotherapist, and her main interests are related to the world of racing.

Racehorse photography has become her other passion; she dreams of working with the best in this industry. She applied to Racing Media Academy because it will allow her to gain the necessary knowledge, open the door to the world of racing media, and make her dream come true.

”If you don’t know where to knock to develop your media skills, RMA is the right door. Participation was a real honor and allowed me to fulfill my dream of working with Equine Productions.”

Angie Lui

Angie Lui was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is completing her undergraduate degree in Bloodstock and Performance Horse Management at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.

While growing up, she developed a passion for horse racing influenced by her family and became interested in media studies during her school years. The Racing Media Academy enables her to combine these two areas of which she is passionate and allows her to expand her knowledge of previously unexplored media sectors.

She hopes to gain professional knowledge and insights from industry leaders. Apart from racing and media, she is also passionate about languages. This stems from living in Hong Kong, where she was exposed to many people from different countries and languages. She can speak three languages and is currently mastering Korean.

“Words can’t express how much I love the Racing Media Academy.

The training week at the British Racing School was incredible and mind-blowing. I had never realised racing media could be that fascinating.

Honestly, I was nervous on the first day when I arrived, but everyone was so friendly.

Each day was packed with lectures and tours for the week, and I was able to meet and build up a network with some of the high-profile people in the industry.

The best thing about the week was the Bet365 Jump final at Sandown Racecourse. We were able to experience the hospitality and to can, get into the paddock, and pick the best- turned out a horse of the race. Yet, I have a one-of-a-kind experience of giving out the trophy to the winning trainer and owner of the race.

On the last day of the week, we all gain heaps of knowledge and develop a friendship with each other, to make the week more memorable.

During my placement with Great British Racing, I was lucky enough to also work with the Great British Racing International, which enabled me to involve in different departments, promote British racing to the national audience and attract investment into British Racing and the bloodstock industry.”

Michael Grimes

Michael is from Liverpool and a master’s graduate from Liverpool John Moore’s University in Sports Journalism. His interests are all sports, especially horse racing, and he has attended meetings at Haydock, Chester, and Aintree.

He applied for the RMA as he’s been interested in the racing media for quite a few years and has always wanted to learn more about the sport, especially the more technical terms used at every meeting and enhance his knowledge of the industry.

He hopes to gain a lot from the RMA course and hopes that the course will be the first stepping stone in what he expects will be a successful career in the industry.

“Before I got to the Racing Media Academy, I was really nervous due to my social anxiety and my ADHD. I was scared about how people would view me and my personality, but once I got there my nerves were settled straight away by the fact everyone was so welcoming and everyone understood me and knew how to handle me.
The week was beyond my expectations, I got something out of every session that was conducted, with my favourites being when Nick Luck came in, as well as Alex Hammond and the commentary session with Stuart Machin. The yard visits were amazing as it was the first time I had ever been to a professional racing yard as well as the morning on the gallops. The BRS is an amazing place.
During my placement with ITV, I did the stats for the Racing League and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I was thrown in straight at the deep end with the first meeting the week after I started, every meeting was a different challenge, and I was even lucky enough to be in the truck at Aintree for one of the RL Meetings (Week 5 at Wolverhampton) I was treated really well and professionally by everyone at ITV and the contacts I have gained from both the week at Newmarket and my placement with ITV are invaluable.
I want to thank Lee, Abby and Josh for giving me the opportunity at Newmarket and Matt Chapman, Coops and everyone at ITV for the experience during the Racing League. 
I highly recommend the Racing Media Academy for anyone who wants to get their first steps into the industry. I can’t rate it highly enough!”

Joseph Bell

Joe is 27 years old and from Plymouth, Devon. He has a wide range of interests revolving around his love of sports, is a Plymouth Argyle fan, and has been a racing fan for as long as he can remember.

He is highly passionate about jump racing and racing in the Southwest. Some of the best trainers are based in the region, and he thinks there are some excellent venues for racing across the four tracks (Newton Abbot, Exeter, Taunton and Wincanton).

He applied for the RMA because he saw it as a real opportunity that he never thought would present itself to someone like him. He comes from nothing, his family are far from privilege, and to break into a sport like horse racing, which for so long has had a reputation of being a closed shop unless you have wealth or connections, was an opportunity he felt he had to try and take and help in any way he can to break down those barriers and stigmas.

He wants to grow as a person using this opportunity. He wants to use his passion and knowledge of racing to build a career within the sport. He can’t wait to get onto the course and listen to all the advice he’ll be given during his time with the RMA. This is a chance of a lifetime and something that he will give his all.

“What an unbelievable experience. Coming from an urban background, racing has always seemed like a closed shop to me but how wrong could I be? The Racing Media Academy has given me the opportunity to experience things I could only ever have dreamed about as a young child watching racing on the TV with my family.

The course itself is hard work, eye opening but thoroughly enjoyable. I met 12 amazing cadets, all from different backgrounds, all with a wonderful story to tell. Each and every one of them are inspirations to myself and will be to others. Learning from the very best in the business was something I was really excited about and I’ve taken away lessons and pointers that will stick with me forever.

The placement with JSC Communications couldn’t have gone better. The team are the best in their field with what they do in the world of PR and communications. Anthony and the whole team within the office in London couldn’t have been more helpful and kind towards me during the placement. Some of the experiences I had from working at the Derby and Royal Ascot are things I will never forget and have now been successfully ticked off the bucket list!!

It’s now back to reality and the day job for a short while but I have the bit between my teeth. I know my future lies within racing in some capacity. Of course it may well end up in a commentary box somewhere and in just a few days I get my first shadowing session with again, one of the best there is in Simon Holt at my local track which will make it even more special.

I just want to say a huge thanks to Josh, Lee, Abby, Cath and the whole team behind the scenes with the RMA. The opportunity you are providing someone like myself who maybe didn’t feel confident enough to try and seek a role within racing before this can’t be underestimated.

I will never be able to thank you enough for the opportunity and I’m sure I’ll see you all very soon.”

Thea Loram

Thea Loram is 26 and from Somerset. Horses have always been her passion and her release when times get hard. She started riding aged three and never looked back. She has been fortunate to grow up in an area close to two very successful National Hunt trainers, and up the road from Wincanton Racecourse, through Pony Club, school, and her degree course, she has come to know many people working within the industry, from work riders to jockeys and trainers.

Outside of horses, her interests include baking (stress baking!), cooking (yes, it’s different to baking), music from opera to country and western via Glastonbury Festival, and a recent addition, scuba diving.

She hopes the RMA course will allow her to combine her degree from Hartpury University and her fascination with the medium of film. She began this journey with her GoPro on her horse and now looks forward to the opportunity to learn and translate this interest into a career.

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Racing Media Academy was the most amazing experience. The week in Newmarket was truly eye-opening and it was incredible to meet and have the chance to network with so many industry professionals, who gave us valuable insight into their individual areas of expertise.

Our intensive week at the racing school included seminars as well as site visits and a wonderful trip to Sandown to see behind the scenes to finish our week.
It helped me to identify the aspects of racing media which I would most like to focus on and provided me with the contacts to be able to follow my newly defined interest.

Although I have a racing degree from Hartpury, I had struggled to know how to apply it. The Racing Media Academy has been invaluable in opening my eyes to how many opportunities there are.”

Samantha Cunningham

Newmarket is home for Samantha, and she has grown up on stud farms worldwide, from India to England and Oman to Qatar. She loves travelling and taking on new challenges and adventures. In her own time, she currently rows with Cambridge 99’s, design and customise denim jackets and paint portraits; safe to say she likes to keep busy.

While completing her master’s in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, she explored ‘Women in Sport’. After speaking to several inspiring women in the industry and attending the Women in Sport conference, the phrase ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ resonated with her.

Her grandfather was a vet, and her father has been a gaucho, stud manager, and now international equine advisor, so to follow in their footsteps and explore another new avenue of the equine industry is very exciting.

She applied to RMA because she wanted to learn from the experts in the racing industry. For her, the RMA is my first step in her racing media career; she would love to be part of securing the longevity of horse racing and championing inclusivity and diversity.

“The RMA course in Newmarket was an incredible experience. It was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable week, filled with informative and entertaining speakers such as Nick Luck, Lydia Hislop and Lee Mottershead. I really enjoyed Lee and Lydia’s day, we learnt about the industry as well as having the opportunity to test our writing and presentation skills. To finish the week at Sandown and then a recording of ‘Luck on Sunday’ was fantastic. If I could complete the course again I would do it in a heartbeat, there’s nothing quite like it and the support that I have received, from the moment I started the course until today, from the RMA team and my classmates has spurred me on to believe I can have a career in racing media. The RMA in two words, life changing. 

Nick Luck Placement: 

Nick has been endlessly generous with his time and knowledge during my placement and since it ended also. I have had the opportunity to meet a plethora of the most fascinating people in the industry during my time with Nick, from jockeys to trainers and the wonderful team at the Jockey Club. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. While on placement I have had the opportunity to attend the Betfred Derby, Goodwood and Royal Ascot carrying out social media content creation for Nick, my placement has surpassed any expectations I could have had, I have featured multiple times on the podcast, presenting and editing two Saturday Editions and completing a series of interviews for Nick at the National Stud. I have no doubt that my time on placement with Nick has had and will continue to have a dramatic impact on my career path. For anyone considering the RMA and a placement with Nick, do it, you won’t regret it for a second.”

Racing TV logo

Ashleigh Wicheard

Ashleigh has worked in specialist schools supporting children with Autism, SEMH, and various other behavioural issues and spent time as a Case Worker and Equine Coordinator for a charity called Key4Life, helping young men aged 18 – 30 “at risk” of going to prison, into work or meaningful activity.

A Master Practitioner in the art and science of Neuro Linguistic Programming and qualified in Equine Facilitated Learning, Ashleigh has the skills to coach and hold a therapeutic space.

She is Travelling Assistant to Neil Mulholland Racing and is recognised for winning the Markel Magnolia Cup 2022 after leading the Jockeys in ‘Taking the Knee’ as a stand against racism.

Ashleigh is also passionate about promoting positive outcomes for everyone; she is a mentor & member of the WiR committee and runs the MissBlackEquestrian Instagram account. Most recently, Ashleigh became an Ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger Equestrian. Ashleigh hopes to learn new skills at The Racing Media Academy with a long-term ambition of presenting horseracing and encouraging more people to enjoy the sport.

“The Racing Media Academy, was an eye opening experience that showcased everything the racing media has to offer. 

After an intensive 1 week course, covering, journalism, commentating, presenting, photography, and social media to name just a few, I was able to gain a greater understanding of how it all works.

My placement at Racing TV was fantastic. The team were very patient and helpful, fun and supportive. This enabled me to learn without feeling judged. I particularly enjoyed the editing process, so I hope to use the skills gained, to create quality content in the future. 

Josh, Abby, and Lee are amazing people and work hard to create a safe space for you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.”

RaceTech logo


Jon-Ho-Wong is a proactive, creative, and thoughtful individual from Andover. His interests are in creative filmmaking and storytelling, and his current interests within this industry are directing and producing; however, he’s open and excited to explore new areas.

He applied to the RMA because of the placement’s wide range of opportunities, allowing him to develop his skills and understanding of different departments.

Furthermore, he has an exciting opportunity to participate in horse racing media. By the end of his placement, he hopes to gain a memorable experience, having made excellent connections and advanced his skills towards the motion picture industry.

“The placement with the Racing Media Academy (RMA) was one to remember. The management was exceptional and it was evident that a lot of time and effort was put into this course. It was a great opportunity to take on and allow me and others to grow. Through this placement, I experienced a first hand insight, developing a good understanding on the relationship between the horse racing and the media industry. 

The RMA opens doors and opportunities to what any ordinary individual wouldn’t typically have access to. It delivers on a variety, giving exposure to a wide coverage of the horse racing industry as a whole. The inclusion and diversity was a highlight where I felt everyone had a good time and no one was left out. This strongly suggests to me that the offering for progression and expansion for its industry is genuine. If you are any fan of horse racing, I am sure you would not be disappointed.”

Racing Post logo

David Griffiths

David Griffiths is 28 years old and grew up in Chester; however, he now lives in London. He is a sports enthusiast, with Horse Racing at the top of the list, closely followed by Football and Golf.

He graduated from the University of Chester with an English Language and Literature degree. He has worked as a Horse Racing tipster for eight years, firstly under the alias of DG Tips and secondly as DG Racing.

He applied for the RMA as he feels it is a terrific opportunity to understand the Horse Racing world better. As a tipster, he has narrowed down all aspects of race analysis; however, there is so much more to the sport, and he feels there is so much more he can offer. This opportunity will allow him to broaden his horizons and develop himself alongside like-minded individuals. The opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry is priceless, and he hopes to come away from the course with a whole new skill set he can apply throughout his career.

“I just wanted to thank you and the whole team for such a wonderful experience. The week at the British Racing School was an incredible experience and it is still hard to believe that we were lucky enough to learn from and engage with the people we did.

My time at the ‘Racing Post’ was really positive, I couldn’t recommend them enough as a placement. 

From my 2nd day there, I was chucked in the deep-end and I had my first article in the paper the following day. In total I had articles in the paper for 37-days during my eight-week placement. 

I had the brilliant experience of live reporting on the Lingfield Derby Trial and the Brigadier Gerard from Sandown alongside covering Dettori’s last Derby/Oaks and his last-ever Royal Ascot. 

Those experiences would never have happened if it wasn’t for this course and the opportunity given to me by the Racing Media Academy.”

Sky Sports Racing logo

Tom Humphries

Tom is originally from Bournemouth. From a very young age, horse racing has been a huge passion of his, not only the race riding aspect but also the media, so when an opportunity arose with the Racing Media Academy, it enabled him the potential to explore other avenues that he would not otherwise have had access to.

Not from a racing background, it was initially difficult for him to gain any experience, but he has persevered. He has worked as a Stable Lad, progressing to becoming a Jockey and, more recently, as a Pupil Assistant. He hopes he can use his experiences, both good and bad, to show where he believes we can improve to bring more people from every background into the sport.

Although he has good knowledge and insight into racing, he has yet to experience the presentation skills and production of these programmes we see on social media and TV. He can’t wait to learn and improve with all the tuition and mentoring that will be on offer.

The RMA experience once was one I’ll never forget.

Having worked in the Horse Racing industry for the past 12 years, this was a completely new experience and learnt so much in the week we had in Newmarket.

During this week we had so many people from within the racing media offer advice and you make so many contacts to help you progress in whatever route you decide to go. One thing that really stood out for me was for some people on the course, the stable and stud visits were some of the best days they have ever had, and I think as an industry this proves we can do a whole lot more to make Racing more inclusive to everyone.

I was lucky enough to have my placement with Sky Sports Racing and everyone there was so helpful.

Throughout the 6 weeks I was given so many opportunities to see how the channel is so successful and makes you realise how much work goes in to creating the shows from the directors, producers and presenters.

I have made so many contacts through this course and for anyone contemplating going for the course, no matter what your background just go for it! It is an experience I will never forget and have now since been given so many opportunities and that’s all thanks to everyone at the RMA.”

Sky Sports Racing logo

William Aston

Wills Aston lives in the New Forest. He used to go riding, but now, he films the ponies and other animals of the forest, recently making educational videos which he uploads to his YouTube Channel.

Although he has never been to a professional racecourse, he goes to the New Forest Boxing Day Point-to-Point, where people who live and work in the forest race their ponies from one point to the finish line. However, the excitement at the finish line is the same, with often very close finishes.

He chose The Racing Media Academy as it will enable him to pursue his interest in horses; he has always been interested in media. At college, he hosted a two-hour radio show on Southampton’s Voice FM live on a Saturday morning and then prerecorded. He discovered he enjoyed editing and following his college experience, he went to university to study film, TV and digital production.

He has just completed a master’s degree in editing for TV, including special effects. Filming horse racing events has proved difficult due to access; the closest he has been able to film was filming disabled motorbikers at Silverstone. In the future, he has plans to film the point-to-point; however, the use of cameras worn by riders is currently not allowed.

His involvement with The Racing Media Academy would enable him to apply his editing skills to enhance the excitement of those watching and involved in the industry.

“The academy has opened the stable doors for me into the industry. I loved the week in Newmarket learning about horse racing and I was privileged enough to see behind-the-scenes at places like Godolphin Stud and Sandown Park Racecourse. What struck me during my time at the academy, was how well the horses are cared for in the industry. I made 12 new friends who shared the journey with me.

Thank you to all the organisers who made this happen: Josh and Abby Apiafi, Lee Moulson, Cath Goff and all the associated media partners.

My placement with Sky Sports and Sky Sports Racing was great because I was able to put my skills and knowledge about the media industry, learnt during my time university, into practice.

My main duties while I was there, were editing horse racing packages for Sky Racing output and editing Boxing and Cricket. I sat in on Formula One sound and the same for Cricket and Sky Sports News. I also visited Sky News and their output for radio. Everyone there was really friendly, encouraging and nice.

I would strongly encourage anybody to apply to the Racing Media Academy. Despite me being disabled, I felt valued and included and they made every effort to make sure I had the same experience and opportunities as everybody on the course.

Thank you again and please consider letting me apply again for next year.”

Isabel Charnock

Issy Charnock is 19 years old and from Arundel in West Sussex.

She has a huge interest in sports and is a competitive swimmer and netball player.

She applied to the Racing Media Academy because it will provide her with skills to work within the industry and make racing and other sports more inclusive and accessible.

She hopes to gain lots of new skills and knowledge about racing and the media industry and can’t wait to meet many new people.

“Getting a phone call back in February from Lee at the Racing Media Academy was a pleasant surprise which was both equally daunting and terribly exciting. The Racing Media Academy was an incredible experience and I have been so lucky to meet everyone involved with the course. Each day we had wonderful masterclasses from industry experts, which is an honour that not many people are able to experience and one I will be forever grateful for. As part of this course I received a four week placement with the Jockey Club in July, that I have recently completed.

Since day one I have felt like part of the team. Every single person I have worked with has been friendly, helpful and welcoming which has made this experience the best it possibly could have been. I have been able to present and materialise my ideas, and this has meant that I was able to express my thoughts and produce creative content. While in this placement I have always felt comfortable presenting any ideas and had the means to talk them through with Joe and Michael in order to improve. I would never have dreamed of the responsibilities and opportunities I received on this internship, from things as small as posting content to planning and constructing the content for Market Rasen, I have been given an amazing role within the team.

I began by preparing for content and working on projects such as writing ‘The Greats’ scripts for both The Tin Man and then later on one on Snoopy Loopy.  While it has been difficult working from home at times, each day I have had a daily call with Joe and Michael which has made it a whole lot easier and helped me feel like an integral member of the social team. I was able to work the Sandown Coral Eclipse, Newmarket July Festival and Market Rasen Summer Plate; all three have been a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun! Each raceday involved in-depth planning, gathering content, finding stories, scheduling content, it was fast paced and the most exciting and rewarding job I have ever done. I have been able to work with experts in graphics, videography, editing, marketing and many more. Each person is so dedicated to their role and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them all.  I have been able to get a real feel for what it is like to work as part of this brilliant team and their level of knowledge is astounding. I have learned so much while being here and the skills in social media management I have picked up are invaluable.

I would love to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in getting me to this position and made it possible for me to pick up skills in an industry which continues to fascinate me. I hope that I will be able to continue learning and meeting incredible people. It has been an absolute dream and I will forever be indebted to these experiences.”