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The Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship

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

The History of the Scholarship

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. In 2018, it has been retargeted for Future Trainers.

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 and Amy Weaver. They have been to trainers all over the world but predominantly to the United States and Australia. Charlie Duckworth (2013) has graduated to Racing Manager for leading Australian trainer Chris Waller, handler of the mighty Winx.

Reports from recent winners of the Scholarship

Becky Smith, successful amateur rider and assistant to Micky Hammond, is the winner of the 2019 Alex Scott Future Trainers Travel Scholarship. The judging panel was particularly struck by Becky's forward thinking approach to her career planning and clear sighted understanding of what it takes to run a business as a licensed trainer. With the aid of the 3000 award, Becky will spend her work placement in Australia with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, dividing her time between Ballarat and Caufield in Sydney. Reacting to having won the award, Becky said, "I feel incredibly honoured to have been awarded the Alex Scott Scholarship. I am really looking forward to spending my time with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and cannot thank them enough. It's an opportunity of a lifetime for someone like me. And I hope I can learn plenty to take forward into the future." Harry Dunlop, one of the judging panel, commented, "Becky is the perfect winner of the scholarship as she clearly aims to become a trainer and is doing everything she can to prepare herself for a successful future."

Brydi Allison 2017
Jessica McLernon 2016
Rachel Rodman 2015
Rob McDowall 2015
Ross Birkett 2014
Charlie Duckworth 2013

Quotes from Scholarship 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 Scholarship 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 2019.

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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