A HORSE racing mad Halesowen boy is saddling up for a mammoth 56-mile sponsored walk to raise money to help injured jockeys.

Nine-year-old Jack Lander was inspired to take up the challenge after a suffering a couple of falls from his pony, River.

The Newfield Primary School pupil wants to become a jump jockey and is already on track to raise more than £1,700 from his walk.

He will set off from Stratford Racecourse and walk to Oaksey House, a rehabilitation centre in Lambourn, Berkshire, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund in July.

Proud dad Darren, who will accompany him on the walk, said: “It’s all his own idea. He’s absolutely determined and not at all worried about the distance.”

The intrepid duo, of Linnet Close, will be under starter's orders on Sunday July 19 – Ladies Day - and plan to complete the hike by lunchtime on Thursday July 23, with overnight stops.

Dedicated rider Jack has already experienced one of the drawbacks that jockeys face, falling when his pony ran out of a jump launching him into the wings.

Another time, River spooked and bolted off at a local show, causing Jack to fall off, but his foot was stuck in the stirrup and the young rider was dragged along before the pony came to a halt.

Mr Lander said: “These two incidents highlighted to Jack what jockeys put themselves through each and every day when they race.”

Following his falls Jack worked hard with his instructor to regain his confidence and soon realised he wanted to do something to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Jack, who has already completed the level one and two pony racing courses, is planning to take level three at the British Racing School in August.

His determination has hit the headlines in the racing world having been interviewed live on Racing UK from Ludlow Races, getting a mention on Channel 4’s Morning Line and an article in the Racing Post.

He is also being followed on his twitter page @JacksIJFwalk.

Anyone wanting to support Jack can do so online at jacksinjuredjockeyfundwalk@outlook.com