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 my 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.

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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.

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.

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.

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 I never thought would ever 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.