Imogen Thornton, who recently completed her studies at Richmond Sixth Form College, is riding high after being head-hunted for her dream job at Ann Duffield Racing. Hot on the heels of achieving Distinction* and two Distinctions in her Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Sport & Physical Activity, Imogen is taking on a wide range of responsibilities. From mucking out to riding out, clipping horses to creosoting fences, Imogen tackles every task with a smile. Her role has already developed and she accompanies the vets when they visit, helps out at the on-site equine rehabilitation centre, as well as looking after the horses when they travel to races.
Ann Duffield, owner, said: “There is nothing that I can’t ask Imogen to do and I know she will never let me down. She is a great asset and works really well in our team, she just gets on with whatever jobs need doing. She overcomes problems herself, has great respect for our clients and is extremely resilient. It’s thanks to the support of her parents and school for making her the person she is. Imogen will climb the ladder, she has great potential and will make the most of the many opportunities for progression in the world of racing.”
Imogen made a very positive impression on the team at Ann Duffield in Year 10, and again Year 12, after completing her work experience at the yard. Ann quickly recognised that Imogen was not afraid of hard work and had a great aptitude to multi-task and get things done to a very high standard. Aware that Imogen would be finishing college in the summer, Ann approached Imogen with a full-time job and the offer to train in many aspects of racing.
Imogen has been riding since she was two years old and competing regularly for over twelve years. She was a leading member of the Richmond School and Sixth Form Equestrian Team and during her seven years at school took part in championships across England, bringing home a haul of trophies. Imogen has embraced the working life, getting up with the larks to start work at 6:30am until 12:30pm and then returning for a 4:30-6pm shift, as well as regular weekends. She enjoys all aspects of her job, but her favourite part of the day is riding out and going to the race events.
Imogen said: “Working with horses is something I have always wanted to do as I love them so much. There are so many opportunities here and I am hoping to train as either a flat or jump jockey which will involve going to college part-time. Ann’s motto is ‘Where horses come first’, and this is immediately evident to everyone who visits or works at the yard. Ann really takes care of her staff and makes us feel valued members of the team.”
As well as training and looking after around twenty race horses at the yard, Ann Duffield Racing offer gallop and equine rehabilitation facilities, including a water treadmill and vitafloor. These are frequently used by competition horses of all types, as well as injured horses, regularly referred by vets and physios. The facilities are highly regarded for helping injured horses recover from injuries and achieve excellent results and optimum performance.