Catching up with last year’s winner of the Toby Balding Award for Training & Development

 In Blog

We caught up with Zoe Moore-Williams, last year’s winner of the Toby Balding Award for Training and Development.

“This time last year when I initially put together my application for the Toby Balding Award, I had a solid step by step training plan that would lead me to the next step up in my racing career.

I was working as Assistant Travelling Head Girl for Philip Hobbs, where I gained invaluable experience and knowledge. Mr Hobbs provided me with opportunities that I will be forever grateful for and I thoroughly enjoyed all of my four years spent at Sandhill.

Next step

In the summer of 2021, I felt that it was time to take a leap of faith to be able to progress my career further. A scary step but one that must be made if I was to pursue a long term career in the industry.

As part of my plan, I undertook a Level 3 Diploma in Equine Massage Therapy. After six months of training, exams and coursework I passed the course and received my qualifications. I have set up my own small business treating a range of horses including horses in training, point to pointers, ex-racehorses and racehorses in rehabilitation.

This has been a fascinating learning experience and I am excited to progress my work and training within this field. With my current qualifications, I can now train to become an Equine Physiotherapist without having to study at University.

Work experiences

On completion of the course last autumn, I had planned to travel to America for work experience, however, the Covid pandemic quickly put a stop to this. All being well I will be able to travel this year and I also plan to spend some time in Ireland where I would like to learn more about the Bloodstock industry.

I have continued riding out on a regular basis – it’s great to experience the routine and set-up of different yards. There is a lot to learn from so many different people in the industry.

I feel very privileged to have received the Toby Balding Award and without it, I would not be able to progress my career the way I wanted to. I have also received support throughout from the NTF and Racing Welfare which has been invaluable.

I am looking forward to the next step, particularly my work experience abroad.”

We were thrilled to hear how Zoe has progressed this last year and taken some big steps to develop her career and experiences.

If this has inspired you to think about your career, it’s time to enter the 2022 Toby Balding Award for Training & Development. There is £3,000 to be awarded to a member of racing staff who demonstrates a desire to further their career and to train for a higher-level qualification, or undertake personal development training. Head to the National Trainers Federation website to download your application form.

Entries must be in by 31 March 2022.


regional staff development programmeImage credit: National Horseracing College