A SCHOOL caretaker with a passion for horseracing is set to saddle up for a charity race.

Bob Bracken, who is the residential caretaker at Cranborne Middle School, is taking part in the Greatwood Charity Race at Newbury on March 2.

Greatwood is the only organisation that uses former racehorses to educate disadvantaged children and young adults with special educational needs.

Robert said: “My lifelong passion, away from work, is to ride racehorses. This is something I have done for the past 45 years and even to this day I still find the thrill of thundering up the gallops on a race fit thoroughbred incomparable.”

As a teenager, Bob said he dreamed of becoming a jockey and while working for the RAF he would ride out for trainers near where he was based.

A spell at a yard during his resettlement course at the end of his RAF service convinced him that he wanted to go into racing as a full time career, however he went on to find work away from horses.

After recently celebrating his 60th birthday, Bob said he was keen to take on a challenge that would bring him back to his first love.

Bob said: “Aside from my passion of actually riding racehorses I'm equally passionate about the general welfare and care of our racehorses both during and after their racing lives.

“It was for that very reason that I decided that I wanted to give something back for all the many wonderful years I have enjoyed through my association with racehorses and racing in general. My landmark 60th year would be a great time to do just that.”

In 2015, Bob got back into riding after taking part in the Macmillan Race Day at York Race Course in front of thousands of spectactors and went on to raise almost £9,000 for Macmillan.

To follow Bob’s progress search for Bob Bracken Rides Again on Facebook or to make a donation see justgiving.com/fundraising/erica-macey-bracken.