Mohammed Tabti, racing apprentice, talks about his maths and English skills development

We love to hear about the progress of our amazing apprentices whilst they are studying towards their qualifications with us.

A key component in all apprenticeships is the development of maths and English skills. Apprenticeships contain qualifications that have been designed to improve literacy, numeracy and if applicable, ICT skills. These are often in the form of a recognised Functional or Essential Skills qualification, which are equivalent to a GCSE.

Mohammed Tabti is a flat apprentice jockey originally from France.  He is currently studying towards his level 2 equine racing groom apprenticeship at Whatcombe Racing.

We spoke with Mohammed and his Haddon Training Trainer Coach, David Stratton, to explore how his English has improved since working on his Functional Skills qualifications.

At enrolment, our learners complete an assessment of their current maths and English understanding. Once Mohammed’s needs had been identified, David and his Functional Skills Specialist, Catherine Huckstep, were able to identify words that related to his workplace to engage him in understand their meaning. They implemented ways to help Mohammed understand maths and English by using everyday equine and horseracing examples, which improved his confidence using the language.

David says of his progress, “Mohammed is a natural rider and a joy to train. He’s been given some big opportunities and his talent is being noticed in the racing circuit. He’s a hard worker and a good influence on others. I can see his apprenticeship is helping him develop a plethora of skills and he’s embraced his learning with enthusiasm. Through his apprenticeship his language barrier has now become a distant memory.”

Mohammed says, “My first interaction with racehorses was when I was 13 years old. I later went on to work with Monsieur Lerner in Maisson Laffite, which is a recognised horseracing training centre. I had my first winner in Compiegne Racecourse before coming to England in 2020.

 In France we didn’t have this qualification. I find it is very good because it helps develop my abilities. I have nice supervisors at Whatcombe Racing and I have found that I’ve improved a lot. Alastair, the Assistant Trainer, works with me, and he gives me good advice to follow. Trainer Paul Cole provides me with great horses to ride, which is incredible and helps me a lot.

When I came to England, I didn’t speak English and people helped me which was really nice, and it has been a very positive experience. I find it easier to speak now and doing my Functional Skills has helped a lot with this.

My biggest achievement since starting my apprenticeship would be winning a Class 2 on Majestic Dawn at Salisbury Racecourse. Mr Cole trusted me and the horse was a brilliant horse. I have a different style in comparison to other jockeys for pushing a horse to win. In England I have a Jockey Coach who helps me learn how to push a horse in a race, which has made me stronger.

In the next year I hope to be champion apprentice jockey and then see what happens.”


Well done to Mohammed and we can’t wait to watch his future success!

You can find out more on our racing apprenticeships in England and Wales by heading to the racing section of our website, or contact us to discuss with one of our team.