Pupils delight in an unforgettable day of learning at The Royal Studs

It is a rare thing for the gates of the Royal Stud to open up to the public, making last week’s Racing to School visits with local pupils of Brisley CofE Primary Academy and Rudham CofE Primary Academy incredibly special.

Across two days, 55 eager pupils from Years 5 & 6 were treated to a royal welcome by David Somers, Stud Manager, and his team, and given the opportunity to explore the birthplace of many notable runners in the monarch’s famous purple, scarlet and gold silks, such as Doutelle and Highclere.

John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing to School said: “We are extremely grateful to the management and team at the prestigious Royal Studs for once again welcoming some very lucky beneficiaries to see the workings of such an historic and special place. We know that this experience will stay with them for a long time and hopefully spark an interest in the fascinating world of breeding and in racing itself.”

The day began with a welcome talk from Stud Manager David Somers in front of the statue of 1896 Epsom Derby champion, Persimmon, whose winnings enabled the then Prince of Wales to develop the Royal Stud. David shared his extensive knowledge of the Royal Stud’s history and its importance to the Royal Family spanning generations, as well as the local community around it.

Within the heart of the Stud, the pupils learnt about the thoroughbred breeding season and the daily routines that provide the best possible care for each horse. The group met the Stud’s veterinarian, Camilla Scott, and farrier, Dermot Barry, who talked passionately about their jobs and how their hard work had led them to careers they love.

For many, however, the day’s highlight was meeting the residents of the Royal Stud, His Majesty’s mares and foals. Pupils were shown how to approach the animals quietly and calmly, reading their body language.

Before heading home to reflect on a wonderful day, the minibus ventured onto the Sandringham Estate to visit the statue of Estimate, a poignant Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot for the late Queen Elizabeth II and one of few horses living to have a statue made in their image.

The charity would like to thank His Majesty’s Racing Manager, John Warren and David Somers and his team at Sandringham Stud for arranging the visit. Their generosity in hosting an unforgettable day of learning will be a lifelong memory for the pupils from both schools.