Family's anger after Ashfield School's u-turn over support for teenager's jockey training

A horse mad Kirkby-in-Ashfield pupil has ‘steely determination’ to be a jockey despite her school pulling the reins over a training opportunity.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 12:30 pm

Parents Lisa and Ady Howes from Pinxton are in conflict with an Ashfield School decision over their 14-year-old daughter pursuing horse racing training.

Tianey Howes gained a place on a two-year programme at Doncaster’s National Horseracing College. It meant Tianey would be out of school one day a week – the same way other children train for football.

The family said the school were initially supportive but said a few days before the course started, they were told the school would not support them, and their only option was to homeschool Tianey if she pursued the training.

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Tianey Howes

Lisa said it had put “extra stress” on the family as she has a life limiting illness having been diagnosed with a brain tumour in January 2019 leading to her losing her hearing and sight.

Tianey’s granddad and Ady’s father, Pinxton driving instructor Ken Howes, also took his own life aged 73 in July, 2019.

Ady said: “The school gave us an ultimatum, take her off the course or homeschool. That meant putting my tech business on ice. I’d no idea about homeschooling. Tianey was so upset by it all we were concerned for her mental wellbeing.”

Lisa said: “With Tianey’s family experience of suicide it put her at high risk. The “no” decision, had increased her anxiety. One day she walked out of a class and locked herself in a toilet. Ady had to drop everything to go to her.”

Tianey Howes with world famous Italian jockey Frankie Dettori

Since November 6, Tianey has been off school but has started her jockey training on November 11.

Lisa said: “From being tiny Tianey lived, breathed and dreamed horse racing.

"We’ve no idea where it came from. She is so gifted, she has huge racehorses following her round like puppies.

"It was an honour to be accepted at Doncaster, she was thrilled, there’s only two places in the entire UK where you can do this and it is what she’s always wanted.

Tianey with her horse Sorrel

"Her teachers knew of her ambition, they always seemed supportive, it’s a complete U-turn. I hope no more children have the rug whipped out from under them. This has given her a steely determination to achieve her horseracing dream.”

The school refused to comment.