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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."
Quotes from Scholarship Winners
Benefits gained from the Scholarship experience
How to Apply
Please email your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.