Make Me a Jockey airs on BBC1
On Monday 14 March, ‘Make Me a Jockey’ aired on BBC1, following the first intake to the Riding A Dream Academy which launched in the summer of 2020 in recognition of Khadijah Mellah’s achievements.
Khadijah Mellah was just 18 years old when she became the first British Muslim woman in the UK to win a competitive horse race, at Goodwood in 2019. Growing up in London, Khadijah had always wanted to ride horses, but didn’t find an inner-city riding school until she was a teenager. Now she is determined that other young aspiring jockeys from diverse backgrounds take the reins and get access to opportunities she never had.
She helps launch week one of a year-long scholarship named after Khadijah at the Riding A Dream academy, at the prestigious British Racing School in Newmarket. We meet Grace and Eesa from Leicester – two of the talented young riders selected for the programme – who currently train at a social enterprise urban riding school. It’s an exciting and intense first week, with the young riders handling racehorses for the first time. Like many of the students, 14-year-old Eesa has never lived away from home. It’s daunting, but being a jockey is his dream and his sights are firmly set on becoming the next Frankie Dettori.
Watch the 30 minute programme on BBC iPlayer here: