Bobby Beevers with his daughter Sophia

Get email updates with the day’s biggest stories

Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice

Bobby Beevers knows how it feels to be the young person awaiting a chance to thrive in their specialism.

Through sheer grit and determination, the racing presenter turned his passion for horse racing into his day job.

Having been introduced to the sport by his late father Bob, he carved out an opportunity to become Radio Yorkshire's correspondent in 2014.

From there pressed for further work, which included leading Doncaster's raceday coverage and broadcasting for SIS and Racing TV International.

To those behind the white rails of the parade ring and across the airwaves, Bobby's enthusiasm shines through.

It is even more important than ever to captivate his audience, as his new project Autism In Racing is in its infancy.

Having been diagnosed with the condition, like his eight-year-old daughter Sophia, Bobby wants to open doors in the sport for the next generation.

Read More
Related Articles

  • Adayar "looks a million dollars" ahead of fascinating King George clash with Love

Read More
Related Articles

  • Jockey Jason Watson disqualified in Lingfield race after he lost weight sweating in the sun

"Everything I do is for Sophia and I wanted to make the sport accessible for young people like her," he said.

"I'm one of the lucky people with autism who is able to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.

"There's such a stigma that goes with it – around 22 per cent of autistic people are working, even though 77 per cent want to. It's wrong.

"We say we are an inclusive sport and I want to show how we can really step up and come together through Autism In Racing."

Figures show in the region of 700,000 people have been diagnosed with autism in the UK, while one per cent of children are living with it.

Sophia had difficulty regulating her emotions and engaged in stimming, one of the condition's uncontrollable traits.

"When Sophia was diagnosed, I decided to speak to the doctor and they put me through some assessments," Bobby said.

Runners and riders during the 2019 Ascot Stakes
(Image: PA)

"When I found out I had autism, it was like I had been behind a mask. I was very anxious about telling people, wondering whether they would judge me.

"But the response has been absolutely brilliant, from both inside and outside the sport."

By the time of the diagnosis, Bobby, 35, had contacted BHA chair Annamarie Phelps and talked about racing being a sport for everyone.

Autism In Racing was born, with an Arsenal Football Club link-up – a recognised leader in the field.

A sensory room was launched at the Emirates Stadium in 2017, which provides a safe, calm environment for fans with autism.

Three racecourses, Doncaster, Haydock and Musselburgh, will have such a space at six upcoming fixtures.

The project is supported by fellow broadcasters Ed Chamberlin and Rishi Persad, the BHA's head of diversity and inclusion Rose Grissell, Racing Together's Lucy Gurney and Paul Swain from the Racecourse Association.

Racing employees will be encouraged to take a new autism e-learning module, while Beevers is working hard behind the scenes to deliver all-important experiences for young people like Sophia.

Luke Howard from Arsenal put him in touch with independent autism advocate Carly Jones MBE, who runs the Arborfield Sunday Club.

Haydock Racecourse is one of the tracks where an element of Autism In Racing will run
(Image: Getty)

Its members, all autistic young girls, have been invited to racing yards belonging to Jamie Snowden, Joe Tuite and Dominic Ffrench Davis in Lambourn on August 8.

Jones said projects like Autism In Racing could be the starting point for young people to eventually find employment – just how Bobby focused his love for the sport at the very beginning.

"A lot of autistic girls really like horses and find them calming. Autistic people have huge empathy with animals and enjoy receiving their unconditional friendship," she said.

"It is lovely of Bobby to arrange the visit. His work is really important, he's open and proudly autistic.

"Many talented people find it difficult to find a job and it's projects like Autism In Racing that can really help."