Emma heading Stateside after scholarship win

Date: Monday 3rd December 2018

A SUCCESSFUL Eden-based amateur jockey who is now on the road to becoming a licensed racehorse trainer has landed a £3,000 travel scholarship to America.

Emma Sayer, who has latterly been working as assistant to her mother, Dianne Sayer, who trains at Hackthorpe, is the winner of the 2018 Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship.

With the aid of the £3,000 award, Emma will spend her work placement in the USA with trainer Graham Motion, beginning in Florida in February and staying through the stable’s transition to Kentucky in spring.

Judging from a shortlist of four, the award panel was particularly struck by Emma’s enthusiasm for learning and commitment to preparing herself for the demanding role of a licensed trainer.

Speaking to the Herald, Emma said: “It’s a great honour having been awarded the scholarship so I intend on fully making the most of the opportunity to travel and see the comparisons and contrasts of training in the USA.

“Training has always been my ultimate aim and long term goal and, although I’ve still got quite a bit to learn, it is another step closer to achieving that. I hope I will learn an awful lot and be given the chance to return home and implement some of what I learn.

“I intend on going to America at the start of February and working with the Graham Motion team, initially at their base in Florida ahead of moving with some of the yard to Keenland at the end of March.”

She plans to return home for the spring and summer in order to continue to work at her mother’s Hackthorpe stables, before returning to the USA in late autumn.

“Having worked at Penrith’s Ullswater Community College for the past two years and been constantly trying to inspire the children to fulfil their goals, I guess it made me realise I also wanted to work towards mine,” she said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and racing does such a fantastic job at offering the support and opportunities to young people and I feel incredibly lucky to have won the award.”

Emma said she expects to see huge contrasts to the training methods in America, as, over there, they seem to predominantly train for speed.

“I’m also very lucky having the support from my mum and family to be able to make full use of the opportunity given,” she added.

The Alex Scott Scholar-ship aims to support those who are planning a career training racehorses in Britain by promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside the UK. It is funded by the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship (TDMS), which is a charity set up by friends of Tim, who was killed in a car accident in France in 1987 at the age of 21.

Of this year’s winner, lead judge Harry Dunlop said: “Emma is a hugely enthusiastic person who I am sure will make a good trainer. My brother Ed and I hope the funding from the Alex Scott Scholarship will enable her to achieve this goal.”