Cricketing legend Michael Holding announced as panellist on the first ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ webinar

International Cricket Council Hall of Famer Michael Holding will join an esteemed panel of speakers at the first ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ webinar on Wednesday 10 November at 2pm.   The free online event is open to anyone involved in horseracing and supporting industries to join and is being hosted by the Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) in collaboration with the British Horseracing Authority, the National Trainers Federation (NTF), the Professional jockeys Association and HR Rewired.

Michael will be joined by; Shereen Daniels, advocate for anti-racism in business and Managing Director of HR re-wired and racehorse trainer Suzy Smith, who is also on the NTF Council and a DiRSG member, and Horserace Writers and Photographers Association Broadcaster of the year, Nick Luck, who will host the panel.  Further panellists from horseracing will be confirmed soon.

The topic of race and equality is uncomfortable and many people worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. This webinar aims to open up the discussion on race and equality in a safe but brave space and bring together as many people as possible working and involved with horseracing who are interested in learning more on this important topic.

Michael Holding, who commented in a recent interview with ITV Racing, that education and visibility is fundamental to progress the depth of diversity in racing, as well as providing more opportunities so the best people are able to prosper in the sport, in turn helping it to thrive, said:

“I hope many representatives from across the sport of racing will join Shereen, Suzy, Nick and myself on this webinar, from owners, trainers, jockeys, racing grooms, breeding industry representatives, to racecourse teams and those in the administration of racing, as well as the many people in organisations connected with the sport.

“I am optimistic that the challenge of progressing racial equality can be solved. Conversations and providing people with an understanding of this subject is an important and valuable starting point. Furthermore, for sport to remain relevant with society, and in this case horseracing, it needs to be aware and recognise issues that exist outside of its own space and I look forward to exploring this with everyone during the webinar.”

The British European Breeders Fund (EBF) have also generously named a race at Newmarket on Wednesday 20th October to recognise this event, as; “The Let’s Talk About Race Webinar on 10th November EBF Future Stayers Novice Stakes”. The DiRSG would like to thank the EBF for this opportunity to showcase the event.

Susannah Gill, Chair of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, said: “This is a valuable opportunity for everyone in British racing to come together to collectively discuss racial issues which is an important part of improving understanding and helping create an inclusive sport for all which can grow and thrive in the future. We are hugely grateful to Michael, Shereen, Suzy and Nick for providing their time and expertise in being part of what will be a fascinating event.”

Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK, and British racing is recognising this with activity including:

  • A celebration of ethnically diverse communities to feature young creative talent at Lingfield Park on 31st October, in collaboration with Take the Reins, Kickoff@3 and Proud and Gifted as part of the Stephen Lawrence Day Unity Awards;
  • Applications opening for Step on Track 2021 with the first careers event at Lingfield on Thursday 28th October sponsored by Sky Sports Racing; and
  • Interviews with important role models in racing as part of the “Leading the Way” series with Josh Apiafi on Sky Sports Racing, including Royston Ffrench which aired on 1st October to mark the start of Black History Month. Tonight (Monday 18th October) at 9pm Sky Sports Racing will air “Trailblazers” which will highlight the contribution to the sport, and tell the stories, of inspirational figures from the Black Racing Community.

To attend the free ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ webinar, places must be booked in advance at:  www.letstalkaboutracewebinar.eventbrite.co.uk   The event will be held on Wednesday 10 November 2pm-3.30pm.