Lewis Piper - Student Ambassador

01st April 2015

Racing to School with BHEST

Meet Lewis Piper Exeter Racecourse’s official student ambassador 2014-2015. Lewis was awarded the role after successfully applying and throughout the season will undertake various work placements within the racing industry, organised by the racecourse. We’ve created the position to give students with a passion for horse racing a leg up in the industry. In September, Lewis will be presented with an official certificate open completion of his work placements.  

We are very grateful to all our work providers: Racing UK, Tom Malone Bloodstock, Racenews, Richard Linley (BHA Senior Course Inspector), David Pipe Racing, Nick Scholfield, PPAUK and BHEST.

Applications for Student Ambassador 2015-2016 will open in August. More details to follow soon.

Lewis Piper 1.4.15


For my next work placement, I spent a day with Ollie Mcphail who runs a programme called Racing to School for the British Horseraicng Standards and Education Trust which allows school students to have a VIP day at the races where they are taught about the basics of racing and what happens on a race day. The programme also links subjects in the curriculum into racing.


A school called Blundells visited Exeter Racecourse whilst I was on my work placement and they were able to link their knowledge of mathematics to various different activities that Ollie did with them. The students learnt all about the handicap system and about weight carrying in racing which helped with their knowledge of maths. They were allowed behind the scenes access to the weighing room before racing where they were able to see how much they each weigh on the jockey scales and learn what a typical jump jockey would need to weigh to ride each specific horse.


Ollie could then link all of this back to the jockey’s diet and what they need to eat to control their weight. They were also able to go and visit my uncle, Graham Piper, and the valet staff in the jockeys' changing room where they were able to see all of the equipment that the jockeys use and how much it all weighs. From going in the jockey’s room they were also able to see how/where the jockey’s mainly lose weight which is in the sauna.


Whilst Ollie was teaching half of the group about what goes on in the weighing room and all about the handicapping system, his assistant was outside on the track showing the rest of the group what the actual racetrack was like. Here the students could learn how long the horses have to run and how long Exeter’s racetrack is. They also learned about the fences and hurdles, what they are made of, how many there are on each racecourse and how much they cost. The students could then apply their mathematics skills to calculating how much a racecourse would have to pay for all of their fences and hurdle.


The students were also able to go and visit the parade ring where they had an activity which involved measuring the perimeter with a measuring wheel. The final thing that the students were taught was the photo finish and how it works. They learned what technology is used to take a photo finish and about the different winning distances. They were then able to stay and watch a live race before they had to go back to school.


I would like to thank Ollie and everybody at BHEST who allowed me to take part in this work placement and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. I would recommend to any school to get involved with BHEST’s Racing to School initiative.