AN ANIMAL lover played his part in getting the Grand National horses ready for the off.
Matt Beale was at Aintree preparing horses for the day’s several prestigious races after he landed a full-time job with Milton Harris Racing following a career change.
The 32-year-old previously worked in the logistics industry but decided to change tracks and took part in a free job training course on caring for horses which had been set up with funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). The innovative course, which is being delivered in Solihull and Wolverhampton, has been set up to help tackle significant labour shortages within the equine industry.
Matt said: “I’d only ever watched the Grand National on the television before, but with it being one of the biggest races in the world, it was an absolute honour to go there. It was a very significant moment for me. I had always worked in the logistics industry before joining the equine management course.
“But being someone who has always had a passion for nature, the outdoors and animals, I decided it was time for a career change after seeing the equine management course come up at the job centre.
“I completed the course and was successful in getting a place with Milton Harris Racing and it has all just fallen together perfectly. Being able to work with horses on a grassroots level and on a day-to-day basis is really exciting and I’m really enjoying my new role.”
Providing extensive equestrian knowledge and practical skills, the course gives participants everything they need to know about horse management including handling, equine health, and stable design.
It is open to a wide range of people and provides specialist support to help ex-offenders, veterans, the homeless and residents who are long-term unemployed develop the skills they need to find work in the equine industry.
The course, still in the pilot stage, has been co-designed by renowned horse trainer Milton Harris Racing alongside a consortium of employers and RMF training, which specialises in delivering employment-led programmes that target those who need to overcome barriers into work. It has also been backed by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).