The ladies jump championship is proving to be a thriller with our top girls playing cat and mouse at the head of the leaderboard.Just before leaving for her Maryland trip to the USA, Emma Todd enjoyed a win over fences at Market Rasen with OLIVER’S GOLD for Mark Walford which took her into pole position on 7 wins. However, her lead was to be short-lived as just 6 days later Page Fuller enjoyed a great day at Stratford on Sunday riding her first career double under Rules to regain her hold on the top slot and now leads the girls with a total of 8 wins this season. (Ironically it was at Stratford that Page broke her ankle last August which frustratingly put her out of action for a long 4 months at the start of the season.)
A lucky spare ride on SGT BULL BERRY in the opening 3 mile chase saw Page shake off champion jockey Richard Johnson on the favourite THE LAST BRIDGE to win by 7 lengths. Returning from a 192-day absence, Sgt Bull Berry was always enjoying himself travelling well out in front and the partnership shook off their rivals with a near-perfect display of jumping. It was lucky that Page had arrived early for her only booked ride later in the day to be available for this ride and able to do the weight. Page said “I walked in and the first thing I heard was “You might be needed!”. I had an all-you-can-eat Chinese last night but my weight was good and off we went. He gave me a brilliant ride. He warmed up on the first circuit and if anything I could have done with some company but he jumped amazing. It’s hard to pick up rides and I’m really grateful to get the opportunity. I must also thank my boss Jamie Snowden, without whom none of this would have been possible.”
Warmed up herself now and in winning form, Page continued her afternoon to score with OUR THREE SONS for Jamie Snowden, making all in the 2m handicap hurdle and regaining her lead in the ladies jump tables.
Many congratulations to Page and to winning connections! Page now leads the ladies with 8 wins, Emma Todd on 7, Amie Waugh on 6 and Gina Andrews on 5.
With nearly 7 weeks of the season left before our amateur championship presentations at Stratford on the night of Friday 9th June, watch this space!
Do you have jockey plans for Easter weekend? An exciting invitation has just landed for 2 amateur jockeys – either gentlemen and/or lady riders – to ride in Bratislava, Slovakia on Easter Sunday!
The plan is for jockeys to fly out on Easter Saturday to Bratislava and return Monday, racing on the Flat on Sunday over 2000 metres (1m 2f). All flights will be paid for by the AJA.
If you are interested, you do not need to have ridden a winner but must have some race riding experience either on the Flat or jump racing/point-to-pointing/Arab racing and be able to ride at a light weight for men – top weight is 62 kg (9 stone 10 lbs) and bottom weight 57 kg (9 stone). You should also be a member of the AJA.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible if you would like to be considered, giving your full racing career details.
Many congratulations to leading amateur jockey of the season James King who enjoyed a fantastic victory at Aintree in the Fox Hunters, going one better than last year’s runner-up slot when again partnering Dineur for trainer Peter Bowen’s son Mickey.
Sadly the pair did not enter the winner’s enclosure as James dismounted after passing the post to ensure the horse’s welfare. Following the race Mickey said “He was quite tired and gave himself a nick. The vets are checking him out but he seems fine. He had a leg two seasons back and when he came here last year he ran second to On The Fringe. Things have gone a lot more smoothly this season and he came out of his run at Chepstow last month really well. We’re delighted with the result and depending on how he recovers he could go to Punchestown at the end of the month. He went there last year but the ground was slower than he wants. So the ground there will be a factor if he’s to travel.”
James said: “Dineur was brilliant. He’s pretty sharp so I wanted him to start quickly. He settled into a nice rhythm and I was always happy where I was. He was a little tired at the finish and I led him to the cooling-down area. He didn’t seem too bad but it was better to be safe than sorry.”
Katie Walsh had what looked like a nasty fall at The Chair from Distime amid initial fears that she had broken her arm. Luckily it transpired that it was only bruised and she was subsequently passed fit to ride Wonderful Charm in the Random Health Grand National.
Well done James on tightening an already firm grip on this season’s amateur men’s jumps championship with this win now taking his total for the season to 15, 7 wins ahead of his nearest rival Richard Patrick.
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!
To follow the boys’ progress throughout the year you can visit their website here: http://thegentlemensleague.wixsite.com/accueil/copie-de-l-association
Many thanks to all who supported Greatwood and the charity race at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 4 March. 10 riders raised an incredible amount in excess of £40,000 in support of this great charity. Many congratulations to Sheikh Fahad Althani on a gallant 4th, David Dennis placed 3rd, Steph Cameron 2nd and Georgie Norton on winning by the proverbial country mile! Well done all!
If you would like to ride in this charity race in 2018, please e-mail email@example.com to express your interest.
Are you an experienced successful amateur jockey who might be interested in adding an extraordinary racing experience to your cv?
Saturday 29 April sees the 121st running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, the historic 🇺🇸 American Steeplechase over timber. Not for the faint hearted, the race is held over 4 miles with 22 timber fences.
This year a unique opportunity has arisen for at least 2 amateur jockeys (ladies or gentlemen) (hopefully more) to take part from the UK and Ireland.
Ideally all jockeys will arrive in the USA for the Grand National Steeplechase over timber (which is regarded as the prep race) on the second last Sunday of April, before taking part in the Maryland Hunt Cup the following Saturday. Therefore you need to have a minimum of two (and a maximum of three) weeks if your work schedule permits for your USA stay during which time you will be very well looked after. The minimum stay would be 8-9 days.
Experience over some bigger fences is essential as these jumps are huge and vertical with no take-offs! The horses are very experienced for the most part and very well schooled.
If you are interested, please in the first instance e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org giving details of your riding experience and successes to date. Applications close on Friday 10th March – the end of this week!
The Amateur Jockeys All-Weather season 2016/17 ended at Lingfield on Wednesday 22nd February with the indefatigable Simon Walker claiming his 9th Amateur All-Weather Championship having scored an incredible 6 times this season. A feeling of deja vu would be understandable with the season’s long time leading jockey Serena Brotherton taking the runner-up slot for the second consecutive year with 3 wins, these championship placings also repeating the results of seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13, with both Simon and Serena sharing the title in 2013/14.
It was good to see some rising stars also playing their part with 3rd position going to Jonjo O’Neill Jnr with 2 wins and 4th position to Poppy Bridgwater with a win and some placed rides.
It was also welcome news to see races run without “caps” within race conditions in the latter half of the season as of course this automatically excludes these races from the championship. We ended up with 21 races in total counting towards the championship across 12 months and look forward to our new All-Weather beginning next Thursday 16 March with our new fixture at Chelmsford City.
Many congratulations to our new Champion and runner-up, to all jockeys who enjoyed a win during the season and wishing good luck to everyone for the new season ahead. Thanks must also go to all trainers, owners and racecourses for their unstinting support. It was excellent to add both Newcastle and Chelmsford City to our list of host racecourses which also feature Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton.
The 2016/17 All Weather Amateur Jockeys Championship has its final race of the season on Wednesday 22nd February at Lingfield Park when the new Amateur All-Weather Champion will be crowned🏆.
Current pole positions are as follows:
Serena Brotherton 11 points
Poppy Bridgwater & Simon Walker 9 points
Jonjo O’Neill Jnr 6 points
Ross Birkett, Emily Easterby, Claire Hardwick, Ben James, Max Kendrick & David Turner 5 points
However, there is a long way to go with 9 races still to come in January and February including a new additional fixture which has been added to the calendar on 16th February at Chelmsford City by kind agreement between the racecourse and the BHA.
Other races feature at Kempton Park, Newcastle (another new fixture), Southwell, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton. (The race at Lingfield on 9th February is currently for ladies only and has had the cap (previously published) now removed.)
Previous champions are:
2015/16 Simon Walker
2014/15 Simon Walker
2013/14 Simon Walker & Serena Brotherton
2012/13 Simon Walker
2011/12 Simon Walker
2010/11 Chris Martin
2009/10 Serena Brotherton
2008/09 Simon Walker
2007/08 Simon Walker
2006/07 Simon Pearce
2005/06 Simon Walker
2004/05 Scott Dobson
2003/04 Eamon Dehdashti
Good luck all!