#OnLocation - The Soldier Whose Life Was Saved By Racehorses

Blogs | 10th November 2022

A blog going behind the scenes of Great British Racing filming at amazing locations

Here at Great British Racing we head across the UK to film with racehorses and brilliant people involved in the sport of horse racing.

Often though, you simply can’t get all the detail into a four minute video edited for social media so we’ve decided to write some blogs to expand on some of these fantastic stories.

This is #OnLocation…

A Long Way North

The town of Aboyne in Scotland is north. 

Like really far north. 

Nestled in The Highlands it’s on a similar latitude to Alaska and the island of Gotland in Sweden!

About an hour’s beautiful drive inland from Aberdeen Airport through rolling hills the scenery is spectacular and it’s no surprise it’s a hotspot for walking tourists.

Nestled just outside of Aboyne is the charity Horseback UK who promote positive change in people through horsemanship and outdoor activities. A large part of that is working with ex-servicemen and women who have suffered physical and very often mental issues during their service.

We arrived on their beautiful yard and were greeted by husband-and-wife team and co-founders Jock and Emma Hutchison who couldn’t have been more welcoming. We then met their four former racehorses Peopleton Brook, Can Can Dream, Delatite, Intiwin who were loving life in their large paddock to the side of the spectacular glen.

The racehorses had varying success on the track with Peopleton Brook, Delatite and Intiwin having multiple wins across the country and Can Can Dream who seemed to be dreaming during most of his 10 races at the back of the field! Even so, they were all fulfilling a fantastic job in their new careers proving success on the track isn’t a pre-requisite for the thoroughbred.


A Special Man

The subject of our film was a man called Bobby Jones. He greeted you with a strong handshake and a wonderfully calm and friendly demeanour. It was hard to equate this man at first meeting as someone who had been through what we were about to learn.

He’d been to Belfast, The Gulf War and Bosnia in the early-90’s as part of the Queen’s Own Highlanders regiment and had been through bullying as a new recruit for not returning fire, losing friends in the Middle East and witnessing extreme atrocities in Bosnia.

This left him in the mid-90’s as an ex-soldier and with what has now been diagnosed as PTSD but back then in an era where mental health was both less understood and more stigmatised, especially for men and even more especially for people with a forces background.

He was lacking in support and direction. He struggled with anger and would get into fights each weekend in pubs, pushed his family away from him, spent four months in prison for fighting and attempted suicide on two occasions.

This seemed hard to believe with the gentle man we were speaking with.



Incredible Work

He puts the transformation down to the incredible work of Horseback UK and the incredible animals. He was referred to the charity and with a huge amount of cynicism and lots of in trepidation, nerves and anxiety turned up to a session.

He cites the calmness and sensitivity of these horses as the reason he is still alive today and now spends five months a year at Horseback UK and combines his yard work with mentoring ex-servicemen who might have been through similar to himself. Being able to relate to them and speak so enthusiastically about the power of the racehorse is a powerful combination.

Leaving Horseback UK you couldn’t help feeling a beautiful positivity and admiration at the work Jock, Emma and all the team do day in day out there on a lovely day (which I’m assured isn’t always the case in The Highlands of Scotland!)

Their passion for what they do is so visible in everything they say and the results are a testament to that. Bobby’s story is one of many.

And as you drive down the cobbled road leading away from the yard you see the real superstars of the show. The four racehorses Peopleton Brook, Can Can Dream, Delatite and Intiwin looking spectacular in their coats, playing in the field and living an extremely fulfilling life in their new careers. 

One that is changing lives.