Abdulkareem Musa Adam | 2016 Winner

Aspiring jockey has endured unimaginable horror.

 

 

Everyone who reaches the highest levels of sport has had to make sacrifices and overcome obstacles.

But what Abdul has gone through is simply unimaginable. Originally from war-torn Darfur in Western Sudan, Abdul was just seven when, one afternoon in 2004, he went to help round up cattle. While he was gone his village was attacked, and his parents and two sisters were killed.

He ended up in a refugee camp in Chad, staying for two years before being forced to flee again, this time to Libya. After refusing to fight as a child soldier in the civil war, he was beaten so badly he ended up in hospital, before escaping across the Mediterranean to Europe at the age of 14.

After living rough in France for 18 months, he managed to stow away on a lorry bound for Swindon, where he was picked up by police. After being granted asylum and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Abdul began working with Greatwood, a Wiltshire-based charity which uses ex-racehorses to help disadvantaged children.

It reignited a childhood passion for horses and, thanks to Greatwood’s tireless efforts, he secured a placement at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster, starting a 12-week course in October 2016.

He is now on course to become a professional jockey, which would be a heartwarming end to one of the most remarkable journeys in sport.

 

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