Documentary Perspective

I came to Cheltenham last year (Sept 2012) and started job hunting as soon as I could. I ended up finding a job at Cheltenham racecourse working in the 5th level boxes where I have been ever since. I had (and have) no background with horses and wasn’t particularly interested in the sport, nor had I ever watched a race before! However since spending a year working in the boxes with an incredible view and enthusiastic clients, I have slowly come to understand and enjoy the culture a lot more. I was also extremely privileged to work with a wonderful lady called Jane who looks after horses herself. Her son Sam is desperate to become a Jockey and works in Kim Baileys yard with many other aspiring jockeys. I left Cheltenham and returned home to Exeter for the summer and decided to give Clare Balding’s new book a go (I had been given it for Christmas). I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read and I just couldn’t put it down. Her words made me really aware of how lucky I have been with the opportunities I’ve had at work and understand that there is so much more to horse racing than I ever knew. I found myself becoming passionate about a subject I had always ignored! I’m not saying that I want to own a horse now or start racing but I feel so much more educated and appreciative of the sport. I tweeted her once I had finished the book and was thrilled to get a reply from her! A truly remarkable woman. I am going to document Sam in his yard and Kim Bailey’s yard along with other yard workmen and women and try and capture the unseen side of the glamorised ‘horse racing persona’. The struggles young jockeys face and the hard work that is put in behind the scenes to bring us the beautiful sport we love to watch but do not perhaps fully understand (like myself). The “unsung heroes” of the racing world is what I’d like to focus on.
Kim Bailey
Clare Balding

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