On Saturday, 19th November 2022 we welcomed students from Ebony Horse Club (EHC), based in Brixton, South London and helped raise the profile of their special club. Both our Ascot TV and Sky Sports Racing interviewed members of the club – watch Ascot TV interview here
EHC know what a profound impact horses can have on young lives, which is why their youth centre looks a little different to most. Nestled in a busy corner of Brixton you’ll find their yard, home to 10 horses and serving over 150 local young people a week. Through access to horses, they seek to improve the lives of some of the area’s most in need children and young people.
They use riding and horsemanship as tools to develop and improve key life skills such as problem solving, confidence building and empathy, all while seeking to improve the overall emotional and physical wellbeing of members in a safe and fun environment. EHC feels it is important their young people see their full potential and work alongside them to fulfil their goals, both in a personal and professional sense. They do this through the direct delivery of a number of programmes that make up their core services:
• Members’ lessons – They deliver weekly riding lessons to over 95 regular members from the local community, some are just beginning their EHC journey, whilst others are learning to jump, hacking out around the streets of Brixton and even competing.
• Young volunteering – They have a structured young volunteer programme for 30 regular members to learn about what it takes to work in the equine industry. They get stuck in with everything from mucking out to supporting beginner riders in lessons.
• Trips and outings – Their trips are all about providing fun new opportunities and broadening horizons. Whether they’re having some downtime away from buzzing South London in the country, or discovering new parts of the city, they make sure to keep their schedule as full and as exciting as possible.
• The RIDE programme – They work with a number of local schools and youth organisations to support at least 60 local children a week, many of whom will never have had access to horses before.
• Youth work – Youth work practice is the golden thread through everything they do and is built into all their activities. EHC provides dedicated youth work support to help young people growing up in challenging circumstances, both in a group setting as well as 1:1 mentoring.
In 2022 alone, they have hosted close to 2,000 rides, trips and activities for members and the community they serve with almost 1,500 young people through the doors. As they head into 2023, they hope to not only continue their work, but to expand upon it and offer support to even more young people in south London who need them.
In recognition of the charity’s work, we named our 12.55pm race: The Ebony Horse Club Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeple Chase and they, together with their President, The Queens Consort, judged the best turned out horse and had photos taken on the podium.