Vets ride to the rescue

Will Lathrope.

Will Lathrope. - Credit: Archant

A North Somerset veterinary group has handed hundreds of pounds to help a 12-year-old minibike racer get up to speed.

Will Lathrope in action. photo by Andy Walker.

Will Lathrope in action. photo by Andy Walker. - Credit: Archant

Will Lathrope, who lives in Portishead, races in a junior category of the British Minibike Championships.

But with racing taking him around the country, Will needs sponsorship to keep his motorcycling dream alive.

And Watkins & Tasker Veterinary Group has provided hundreds of pounds to keep the youngster’s ambitions on track.

Vet Steve Tasker said: “His mother is a member of the veterinary nursing team at our Portishead practice.

“We were aware what a financial struggle it was for the family to keep Will racing.

“This sport is incredibly costly. An average race weekend can cost up to £500 – and that’s without any mechanical problems.

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“Will races up to 10 times a year so the kind of sponsorship that we are able to provide is vital to his ongoing success.”

Will first rode a motocross-style bike at the age of four and began riding competitively in a national formula in 2013.

He took to the sport naturally, ending his first year fifth out of a 30-strong field.

He has continued to progress and has achieved his ACU licence which allows him to race on some of the UK’s biggest, quickest and exciting tracks, including Silverstone, the home of the country’s Formula 1 and MotoGP events.

Will’s father Mark said: “He’s doing so well and it is so exciting watching his progression.

“Next year is really important for him. Once he is aged 13 he is eligible to compete at British Superbike level which is a whole different league.

“But it’s an enormous expense so is down to whether we can raise the funds.

“Organisations are ready to put money into established, successful athletes, but it is at these crucial, early stages when it is most needed.”

Anyone interested in helping with funding, can contact Mark at or can call 07737 810033.