Founder, Horseback UK
HorseBack UK teaches leadership through horsemanship, and the approved courses provide both a sense of purpose and community for those who have endured mental and/or physical injury. At the heart of the charity’s philosophy is the vision of empowering those that have been injured to play a role in the recovery of others.
Born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1962, at the age of sixteen Jock was introduced to western riding and working stock horses during a year’s exchange to North Carolina. This experience profoundly affected the way he has worked with horses ever since.
Jock joined the Royal Marines as a commando and after five years of service as an officer he was selected for flying duties and spent the next five years flying for the Army, Navy and Royal Marines. During this time he continued his journey with horses competing on horses he owned. In 2007 Jock met a friend who had returned from serving with the Marines in Afghanistan and developed an opportunity to provide an equine therapy programme for severely injured marines post clinical care. Jock founded HorseBack UK in 2007 and since then the charity has helped over 1300 service personnel regain the confidence and self-belief to reconnect with others and the world. They have also taken this knowledge and helped other groups such as injured sportsmen and disadvantaged young people. Many of the horses the charity uses in the programme have been rescued, including thoroughbreds provided by Retraining of Racehorses.