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The Alex Scott Travel Scholarship Award

The Alex Scott Assistant Travel Scholarship is a well-known award in the industry for assistant trainers to further their careers in Alex's memory. The Scholarship continues to be play a role in supporting those who are committed to a career training racehorses and promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside the United Kingdom.

The History of the Award

When Alex Scott, the Newmarket trainer, was tragically killed in September 1994, his friends and family contributed very generously to a fund which was spent in a variety of ways. They sponsored a 7 furlong maiden race at the Newmarket Craven Meeting and planted an avenue of trees next to the polytrack gallop on Southfields.

The third thing they did was to set up an Assistant Trainers' Scholarship, which is an annual award of about 3000, giving the winner the chance to spend one month abroad gaining work experience with a trainer in the country of their choice. It has been awarded every year since 1996 with the exception of 2003 and 2006.

From 2017, the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship (TDMS), has taken over sponsorship of the Alex Scott Scholarship. TDMS is a charity that was set up by friends of Tim, in his memory, after he was tragically killed in a car accident in France at the age of 21 in 1987. The charity sponsors young people who wish to travel abroad to expand their experience in the thoroughbred industry initially as a prize for the best overall student on the main National Stud course, it now also sponsors a participant on this course as well.

The Scholarship has been won by many people who have gone on to have successful training careers including Eoghan O'Neill, James Given, Charlie Longsdon, Amy Weaver and Toby Coles. They have been to trainers all over the world but predominantly to the United States and Australia.

Reports from recent winners of the Award

Jessica McLernon, assistant to trainer Richard Fahey, is the winner of the 2016 Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship. Jessica will be spending a month with training legend Gai Waterhouse at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia. Reacting to having won the award, Jessica said, I am extremely honoured to be chosen as the winner of such a prestigious award that is so close to so many people's hearts. I owe so much to the great people I have around me, most of all my fantastic boss Richard Fahey. During my trip to Australia I hope to gain more knowledge and experience of the Racing Industry and this will in time help me to become a young trainer. Read Jessica's report and watch her video from the link at the end of her blog below.

Rachel Rodman 2015
Rob McDowall 2015
Ross Birkett 2014
Charlie Duckworth 2013

Quotes from other Award Winners

  • "The Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Scholarship is a fantastic way for an assistant to broaden their horizons on the methods of training in a different country. There is no way I would have gone to America if it had not been for the help of the scholarship." - Charlie Longsdon
  • "The experience of the scholarship was similarly significant in my personal development and gave me greater confidence and maturity to start my own training career." - James Given
  • "Being a winner of the scholarship also helped me out when I first started training, as it is a well known and recognised award for hard work and good performance. Potential clients were impressed that I was a former recipient of it and it helped me get owners, which of course is a vital part of training horses, especially when setting up, as you have no formal statistics to back you up at that stage." - Amy Weaver

Benefits gained from the Award experience

  • Expanding knowledge and understanding, especially increasing awareness of different training techniques and stable management

  • Gaining an appreciation of the common factors in running a successful training operation

  • Developing a network of contacts who will prove useful in the future

  • It could also be said that the scholarship leads young trainers to bring new ideas about training to this country so there is a real though perhaps intangible benefit to British racing in the long term.

How to Apply

Please email your completed application to

Closing the date for applications is September 30th 2017.

Judging the applications

Applications are invited in the autumn of each year by advertising on the BHA website and in the NTF newsletter. The NTF Chief Executive and two members of the NTF Council representing Flat and Jump codes will reduce the initial applications to a short list of four. From the short list, a panel appointed by the NTF and the TDMS trustees will choose the winner through a single round of interviews.

After the Scholarship winner is chosen they will arrange the trip abroad with guidance and assistance from the NTF. They then go abroad in the month of their choice, depending on whether they are attached to a Flat or National Hunt yard. Each winner is required to write a report of their experience on their return.

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Alex Scott with Cadeaux Genereux

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