Category: Jockey News

Georgina Friswell enjoys 1st career win at Chelmsford



Congratulations to Georgina Friswell who enjoyed her first career win when booting home POWER UP in the amateur riders’ handicap at Southwell this evening.   Having only her 3rd start for trainer Jane Chapel-Hyam, the mare saw it out well holding off the challenge of multi-champion amateur Simon Walker and WELD ARAB to win by 2 lengths.

The winning rider said “Power Up had a break at my mum’s over the winter and it has done her the power of good. I can’t believe I have ridden my first winner!”  Well done Georgina!

Rebecca Heptonstall enjoys 1st career win at Doncaster


CDc_dqyW0AAaocPCongratulations to Rebecca Heptonstall who enjoyed her 1st career winner tonight when partnering INTISAAB for David O’Meara in the first ladies race of the amateur season, the AJA Handicap, at Doncaster.  What a way to start the Flat season! Held up early on in the 7 furlong sprint, Rebecca asked her horse to quicken in the final furlong to stay on strongly with a well timed run and win by half a length.

Teenage Harry Cobden enjoys red letter day with 2 winners



Congratulations to 16-year-old Harry Cobden who enjoyed his first career success under Rules when partnering ULCK DU LIN to a smooth victory at Wincanton in the 2m handicap chase for Paul Nicholls.  The trainer said “Harry has been riding out at the yard and got his B licence last Friday which was good timing so he took the ride.”

Harry followed up his victory with a quick dash to ride at the Seavington point-to-point where he also enjoyed a winner for Rachael Green!

Sam Waley-Cohen makes Aintree history with Radjhani Express



Many congratulations to Sam Waley-Cohen who improved on his already incredible Aintree record by winning the Topham this afternoon with his father’s home-bred Radjhani Express.


Sam is now the most successful jockey in modern times to ride over Aintree’s fences.  He has now won 6 times over the Grand National fences having won the Topham twice, the Becher Chase and three Fox Hunter Chases as well as being placed in the Grand National.  Picking his path through an eventful race with many lose horses, Radjhani Express was never challenged and won by 10 lengths from his nearest rival, Fairy Rath.

Simon Walker retains All-Weather crown


MR S WALKERCongratulations to multiple winning champion amateur SIMON WALKER who went into the finale of this season’s amateur All-Weather series in an unassailable position and underlined his all-conquering career record with an emphatic win aboard CAGED LIGHTNING for Steve Gollings at Southwell.

To the delight of JOANNA MASON, currently hospitalised after sustaining concussion and broken vertebrae in a point-to-point fall last weekend and undergoing an operation on her back today, she managed to retain her runner-up place after her best ever All-Weather season.

Many congratulations to both Simon and Jo, and also to all other amateurs who have ridden winners this season.



Good luck Guy!



Sandown Park plays host today to the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and amongst the 10 military amateur riders taking part is an extraordinary man.  Guy Disney lost his right leg from below the knee whilst on active duty in Helmand Province in 2009 and he will make racing history today when riding BALLYALLIA MAN.

Guy’s journey back into the saddle on the racecourse has not been smooth as his jockey licence application was originally declined by the BHA.  Since that time he has enjoyed riding in a charity race at Fakenham and has been able to satisfy the authorities that his artificial limb is up to the stresses and strains of race riding.  Guy enjoyed 2nd and 3rd placed rides in the Combined Service point-to-point at Larkhill last weekend – a great warm up to today’s race.  This afternoon Guy will become the first jockey ever to race ride under Rules with a prosthetic leg within the UK.  We wish him every success.

Farewell to Fegentri


This coming weekend sees the Fegentri General Assembly 2015 hosted by the Norwegian Amateur Club in Oslo on Saturday 7th February, a country which provided Alice Mills with a winning ride at Ovrevoll in June.  The AJA are no longer members of Fegentri following our decision to leave the Federation at the end of 2014 which leaves us now ineligible to attend the 2015 GA as dictated by Fegentri rules.  We believe that Fegentri cannot serve our best needs whilst current rules restrict representation of amateur riders to just 2 individual jockeys per country, especially considering the large costs incurred.  Unfortunately our repeated request for a “Team GB” in order to fully share out race riding opportunities was dismissed, as was our request to become “sleeping members” for 2015 whilst we have grave reservations regarding seemingly idiosyncratic rules currently in place. The AJA CEO Sarah Oliver has therefore resigned from the Fegentri Board.  Her Royal Highness Princess Haya of Jordan has also resigned recently as Fegentri’s Patron.



Alice Mills victorious for Great Britain in Norway

A successful 2014 was enjoyed by Alice Mills and Freddy Tett, our 2014 GB representatives, and many congratulations to them both on achieving second place on points won throughout the season, reaching the runner-up slot in both the Lady and Gentleman World Championships respectively.  However, as Freddy’s sole win during the season was on home ground (Nottingham), unfortunately due to Fegentri ruling he is not allowed to enjoy this position and is disqualified altogether from the ranking.  His Corta Testa (short head) defeat in Rome makes this ruling even more bitterly disappointing.












Freddy Tett beaten ashort head in Italy costing him the “official” Fegentri runner-up slot in the World Championship














Freddy Tett victorious for GB at home in Nottingham


Alice enjoyed winning rides in not only Ovrevoll, Norway but also The Curragh, Ireland as well as both Baden-Baden and Cologne in Germany.  Sadly Alice is unable to attend the Gala Dinner in Oslo to collect her prize, with a weekend of rides booked point-to-pointing on home turf, but Freddy is travelling to Norway where he will collect a consolation prize for his achievements.












Alice Mills greeted by an enthusiastic German crowd afterwinning for GB in Baden-Baden


Great Britain have also won the 2014 Fegentri World Cup of Nations Series (and as far as we know there is no ruling to take this victory away from us!).  Many congratulations to those jockeys who helped us win this:  Steven Fox (Pisa, Italy) (Wayne Hogg non-runner), (Page Fuller (WON in Maisons Laffitte, France, Tom Hamilton unplaced), Freddy Tett (3rd Deauville, France), Megan Nicholls (3rd Royal Windsor) and Harry Bannister (2nd Delaware Park, USA and WON Parx, USA with his horse having its first ever run!)











Page Fuller winning for GB in Maisons-Laffitte – her first ride abroad











Harry Bannister also having his first rides abroad, finishing 2nd and then winning in Parx USA for GB aboard a horse making its debut on the racecourse!




Update on Standard for Jockey Skull Caps


The EU Commission withdrew EN 1384 as an acceptable Standard at the end of 2014. Being well aware that the BHA recently insisted that every jockey must update Skull Caps, they have agreed that for the purpose of on-going compliance with the requirements of Rule Schedule (D)2, the existing (BS or CSN) EN 1384:2012 Standard will remain an acceptable Standard until 31st December 2016. Please therefore note the amended Schedule:

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment
Skull caps and safety vests
Design of skull cap
1. A skull cap is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 1384: 2012*, PAS 015: 2011 or (CSN) EN 1384: 2012*.
2. The skull cap must not have a chin cup, cradle or draw lace.
3. The chin strap must pass under the jaw and be attached to the harness by a quick release buckle.
4. The skull cap must not have metal hooks.
* (BS) EN 1384: 2912 and (CSN) EN 1384: 2012 will be removed as acceptable standards on and after 1 January 2017.

Fitting of skull cap
5.1 The skull cap must be of the correct size for the Rider and must be correctly fitted and fastened.
5.2 The face harness must be correctly adjusted and the chin strap fastened at all times when the Rider is mounted on a horse.
Design of safety vests
6. A safety vest must conform to (BS) EN 13158: 2000 (level 1 only)*, (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or (CSN) EN 13158: 2009.
7. A safety vest must not be
7.1 modified in any way, or
7.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse.
*see ‘Forthcoming Rule Changes’ on 3 November 2014 for further change effective from 1 April 2015.

Robert Hawker wins AJA Hurdle at Ludlow and Ross Birkett wins at Wolves


It was a busy day today for amateurs with races both at Ludlow and Wolverhampton. Many congratulations to Robert Hawker who enjoyed success at Ludlow in the largest field of the day, with 17 runners in the AJA Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle.  Defying top weight on ASCENDANT for Johnny Farrelly, they won  going way much to the delight of owner Alan Clegg who was visiting the course for the first time from his home in Plymouth.


Not so lucky was Brodie Hampson who sustained a broken collar bone when her horse ARISTOCRACY fell at the third last when still well on contention.  Get well soon Brodie!

Meanwhile over at Wolverhampton 2014 Epsom Gentlemen’s Derby winning jockey Ross Birkett landed the 6f handicap on WATERLOO DOCK who was running for the first time on Tapeta.  All did not go to plan with front running tactics in mind as the horse reared when the stalls opened, but Ross kept the horse wide and enjoyed a game win. This was a great send off for Ross who leaves Newmarket for Australia in a week to work for Gai Waterhouse in Sydney where he will be riding 12 lots a morning.  The 3-month trip was won by Ross under the Alex Scott scholarship scheme and will keep him in great shape before returning to the UK in May.