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From shed to stables

Reporter: Reporter


Homeless manSTABLE lad Chris Buck, currently living in a garden shed, has been given an incredible fresh chance to return to horseracing.

Homeless Mr Buck, aged 22, is about to swap his dingy Newbury residence for nine weeks of regular meals and a cosy flat at the British Horseracing School in Newmarket.

His big opportunity comes after six disastrous years of working for Lambourn trainers Jamie Osborne, Paul Blockley, Jo Hughes, and Alastair Lidderdale.

Now penniless and terrified of being attacked by drug addicts in his days on the streets, Mr Buck said: “I’ve thrown my life away.

“I’m sleeping in a wooden shed and scared of people I meet who’ve no home like me.

“Lots are heroin addicts and violent.

“I’ve lived in Lambourn all my life, and I’ve let people down, especially my family, racing trainers, and close friends.

“Christian people in Newbury are providing me with a daily meal at Loose Ends and keep me sane by supporting me. I’m even going to church on Sundays.

“It’s degrading to be sponging and living in a shed.

“But I keep myself so clean and smart that people don’t believe that I’m homeless.

“I’m clinging to as much pride as I can.

“I’ve just been told that the British Horseracing Authority is throwing me a lifeline.

“I’ve been accepted on a nine week specialised training course at its Racing School with a guaranteed job in a racing stable to complete my apprenticeship.

“It’s the best news anyone like me could get, and I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Mr Buck is looking forward in particular to being taught to ride properly at as he’s kept his weight down to 9st 2lb and, ironically, is having no opportunity to over-eat.

He added: “One day I’d like to be a jockey. It would mean lots of hard work, but I’m a grafter.”

The recruitment co-ordinator at the British Racing School , Carol Casey, said: “Everything is totally free – accommodation and food.

“There is also pocket money, and a job is guaranteed with a racing trainer to everyone who completes the nine-week course.

“We were impressed by his commitment and enthusiasm to want to work in racing when he attended his interview.”

Loose Ends is a Newbury soup kitchen operation that runs four days a week to provide hot meals, clothes, essential toiletries, food to take away, social company and advice.

Funding comes from Newbury churches, personal donations, and grants from Newbury Town Council and Greenham Common Trust. Unpaid volunteers do the work.


Don't forget to read the Newbury Weekly News — Berkshire's largest–selling local newspaper — out each Thursday morning.


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