Huge thanks to each and every amateur jockey who applied for the extraordinary opportunity so kindly offered by our friends in the US for two amateur jockeys from this side of the pond to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup.
Over 100 applications were received both from UK based and Irish amateur jockeys and there were many very strong contenders which made the selection process challenging. However, the prerequisite for jockeys to have to commit to a minimum stay of 9 days helped a little to narrow the field.
After lengthy discussions with Amateur Riders Club of America President and Middleburg trainer Don Yovanovic and winning 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup trainer Joe Davies, we are delighted to announce that Emma Todd and Max Kendrick will travel from the UK to the USA next month and spend a week with Joe Davies before riding in the Maryland Hunt Cup on Saturday 29th April.
We are very hopeful that further such opportunities will arise in the future to share with our experienced amateur jockeys in the hope that as many jockeys as possible can gain from such a unique adventure. Good luck Emma and Max! 🇬🇧
With the decline of jump racing in many parts of Europe in recent years (and also sadly now non-existent within Fegentri), the AJA welcome the founding of “The Gentlemen’s League”, a European Jump Championship for gentlemen riders, conceived by France’s Gonzague Cottreau and Maxim Denuault together with Ireland’s Patrick Mullins and GB’s Freddy Tett.
Yesterday saw the first race of their inaugural year held in Cork with this year’s representatives enjoying their first encounter: Pierre Dubourg for France, Dean Sinnott for Ireland and William Easterby for Great Britain. Unfortunately William’s weight cloth slipped off which automatically disqualified him from the race, with Dean finishing 2nd and Pierre down the field. However, a good time was had by all! The next race in their calendar will be held at Le Lion d’Angers on 25th May over their incredible cross country course. Good luck all!
A memorable week was held in Abu Dhabi for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival with lady riders who have ridden in this year’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Arabian World Series attending the jockey conference: Carol Bartley, Serena Brotherton, Alyson Deniel, Joanna Mason, Alice Mills, Rebecca Smith, Anna Wallace and Catherine Walton. The week culminated in both the Apprentice and Lady Riders finales with GB represented in the ladies race by professional (ex-amateur) Alice Mills and by Catherine Walton, having won their respective races in Bahrain and Belgium earlier in the year.
Riding the favourite RB DIXIE BURNING trained by Eric Lemartinel, Catherine was able to ride with hands and heels only to win comfortably on the mare. Following her victory she said “She moved nicely and once she got to the front on the final bend she just pulled away.”
Many thanks to Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and the driving force behind the Sheikh Mansoor Festival that is Lara Sawaya for providing such great race riding opportunities for our lady jockeys throughout the year. Thanks must also go to Pat Buckley and all at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Emirates Racing Authority for their help and support.
Many congratulations to Catherine who has only ridden Arabian horses for the first time this year – in Belgium and in Abu Dhabi – and won each time!
Exciting international news for next week for jockeys! The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Series Finales for both the Lady riders and the Apprentice Jockeys is eagerly anticipated in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 13 November and GB are proud to announce that amateur Catherine Walton will be representing her country and riding there together with ex-amateur Alice Mills! Catherine secured her ride in the ladies finale after her storming win in Belgium on 15th August. In addition Lambourn based Nora Looby represents Ireland and Newmarket vet Manuela Slamanig represents Austria. Meanwhile in the apprentice race Rowan Scott rides and represents GB whilst Newmarket based Milly Naseb represents Jordan.
Good luck🍀to all 16 international lady jockeys who represent 13 different countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. And good luck🍀to all apprentice jockeys who represent 16 different countries: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Jordan, Mauritius, Oman, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea and USA.
The Sheikh Mansoor Festival greatly appreciates the support of all trainers in releasing their apprentices to participate in not only the series throughout the year but also to attend the Conference from 7-14 November in Abu Dhabi. Many thanks also to trainers who support our lady amateur jockeys in participating.
Thanks to Pat Buckley and Sam Shinsky at Emirates Racing Authority for all of their help and support and the biggest thanks of all to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, who enables these fantastic racing opportunities to raise the profile and expand the careers of so many jockeys worldwide.
Good luck everyone! Also attending the Conference having participated in this year’s series will be: Carol Bartley, Serena Brotherton, Alyson Deniel, Joanna Mason, Becky Smith, Anna Wallace, Evanna McCutcheon, Gemma Tutty, Jordan Uys, Andrew Breslin, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Dylan Hogan and Keith Moriarty.
Many congratulations to Amie Waugh on making such a good job of representing GB this weekend in the European Ladies Championships.
Amie made it a winning ride at Kincsem Racecourse in Budapest on Saturday aboard INFLAGRANT and nearly came home with a double having gone into the lead with ELEGANT PRINCESS in Bratislava on Sunday.
Sadly the weight cloth slipped, the lead fell out and Amie was subsequently disqualified! Nevertheless she had a great weekend and many thanks go to our friends in Bratislava and Budapest for this great opportunity for the girls! Well done Amie!
The 12th of 15 races of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak 2016 Ladies World Championship Series took place at Hippodrome Wellington, Ostend, Belgium on Monday 15th August. International lady jockeys represented 10 different countries: 🇧🇪Belgium, 🇩🇰Denmark, 🇩🇪Germany, 🇬🇧Great Britain, 🇮🇪Ireland,🇮🇹Italy, 🇳🇴Norway, 🇴🇲Oman, 🇵🇱Poland and 🇪🇸Spain.
We are immensely proud that Catherine Walton riding for Great Britain enjoyed a winner in only her first ever Arabian race! Riding MESSI for Belgian owner-trainer Vido Keersmaekers, Catherine’s horse responded to her strong driving to lead inside the final furlong and stay on well, winning by 3/4 of a length. Catherine’s career highlight up until this point had been winning the Ladies Open Hunterchase at Cheltenham in 2014 with Ockey De Neuilliac! Following her success she said “I was looking forward to this ride and I just tried my best.” By coincidence, this same race was won by amateur jockey Page Fuller on MESSI’s full brother in 2015!
Many thanks to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, for another great race enjoyed by lady jockeys from all over the world. Catherine now looks forward to riding in the ladies finale in Abu Dhabi on 13th November alongside her compatriot Alice Mills, ex-amateur and now professional jockey, who won in Bahrain earlier this year. Well done Catherine!
Huge congratulations from us all here in the UK to our top ex-amateur jockey Rachel King who had an unforgettable weekend in what is now her own Australia with 2 winners at Muswellbrook on Friday and her 1st career treble at Mudgee on Sunday! What an achievement! Go Rachel!🌟
This year has already been a busy one for international lady jockeys (both amateur and professional) thanks to the generosity of the Sheikh Mansoor Racing Festival which encompasses the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship. It is run under the director of Ms Lara Sawaya and Great Britain have been privileged to have received invitations for all five races so far for 2016 beginning in Oman (Aly Deniel) 15th January, Australia (Serena Brotherton) 26th January, Switzerland (professional Ann Stokell) 21st February, Texas (Joanna Mason) 5th March and Bahrain (professional Alice Mills) on Cheltenham Gold Cup day, 18th March.
All of the girls have enjoyed fabulous trips but a winning ride seemed illusive for anyone, although Jo coming frustratingly close in Texas when beaten in a three-way photo finish into 2nd place in the shortest of short heads! (below)
Happily our luck changed when Alice Mills was successful in another tight finish for Great Britain in Bahrain! (below)
This is a huge achievement as it ensures Alice a place in the finale of the ladies series which will be held in Abu Dhabi on 6th November. Many congratulations to Alice, particularly as this winning ride came as a comeback ride after Alice was shaken up following a couple of race riding falls in quick succession recently.
The finales of both the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship were held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 8th November to round off HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s Conference attended by all jockeys who had participated in both series during the year.
Great Britain was represented during 2015 by apprentices Jack Gilligan (Kentucky) Rob Hornby (Sandown and Sao Paulo, Brazil), Aaron Jones (Kazan, Russia), Luke Leadbitter (Poland), Rowan Scott (Sacramento, USA), Sophie Killoran (Poland), Sophia Cox (France) and in the ladies series (includes both professionals and amateurs) by Anna Hesketh (Australia), Racheal Kneller (St Moritz), Ann Stokell (Stockholm), and amateurs Jodie Hughes (Oman), Lorna Brooke (Bahrain and Poland), Becky Smith (Texas), Stefania Gandola (Lingfield), Alex Dunn (Netherlands), Hannah Watson (California) and Page Fuller (Belgium).
With all winning jockeys invited to ride in their respective finales, it was a proud moment to have 3 victorious ladies riding for Great Britain: Ann Stokell, Becky Smith and Page Fuller. Sadly both Ann and Page finished down the field but Becky had a great run riding Haizoom for Festival patron Sheikh Mansoor, finishing 2nd to Switzerland’s professional Astrid Wullschleger.
Many congratulations to Becky on such a successful outcome and huge thanks to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, for providing so many unique racing experiences for all jockeys worldwide.
Many congratulations to Zac Baker who enjoyed his first success with his first ride abroad yesterday when riding in a FEGENTRI Chase in Mannheim, Germany.
With a total of 5 declarations on Thursday but an apparent chronic shortage of jump jockeys within the international amateur federation (which GB left at the end of 2014), only Czech Republic and France had representatives riding at that stage. Drastic measures were therefore taken by the host nation and last year’s GB representative Freddy Tett was invited to ride there along with compatriot amateur jockeys Page Fuller and Zac Baker.
7 horses actually ended up going to post yesterday. Well done to Zac on a great victory for GB under rather bizarre circumstances!