Month: April 2014

Need a new skullcap? Replacing a body protector? Buying a whip? Then read on!


Please will all jockeys note that as from the new date of 1ST APRIL 2015 a revised BHA specification for skull caps, safety vests and whips will come into force:

Rider Manual (D)


Schedule 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, CSN EN 14572: 2005, BS EN 14572: 2005, 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.

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: 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.



8. As regards a whip carried in a flat race

8.1 the maximum length (including flap) is 70 centimetres, and
8.2 there must be no binding within 17 centimetres of the end of the flap.

9. As regards a whip carried in a steeple chase or hurdle race

9.1 the maximum length (including flap) is 68 centimetres, and
9.2 there must be no binding within 23 centimetres of the end of the flap.

10. The minimum diameter for a whip is 1 centimetre.
11. The overall weight must not exceed 160 grams.
12. The contact area of the shaft must be smooth, with no protrusion or raised surface, and covered by shock absorbing material throughout its circumference such that it gives a compression factor of at least 6 millimetres.

13.1 The only additional feature that may be attached to a whip is a flap.
13.2 If a flap is attached, it must comply with the following requirements

13.2.1 the maximum length of the flap from the end of the shaft is 10 centimetres;
13.2.2 the maximum width of the flap is 4 centimetres, with a minimum width of 2 centimetres;
13.2.3 the flap from the end of the shaft must not contain any reinforcements or additions;
13.2.4 the flap must have similar shock absorbing characteristics to that of the contact area.
  • Comes into effect: 01-10-2014

Musselburgh’s inaugural Good Friday racing gives Hattie Heal 1st career win


An historic Good Friday saw Musselburgh include a mixed amateur race in their first ever day’s racing on this Bank Holiday which resulted in a day to be remembered for amateur Hattie Heal.  Having made the long journey from Somerset with her mother’s BALLYHEIGUE trained by Liam Corcoran for only her 5th ride under Rules, Hattie just held on to win by a short head in a thrilling finish.  Many congratulations to connections.

AJA welcome new director Anthea Morshead


With the retirement of Nick Gaselee at the beginning of the year, the AJA are delighted to announce that former amateur rider  Mrs Anthea Morshead is to join their board of directors made up of Dr Philip Pritchard (President), Bill Shand Kydd (Vice President), Bob Davies, Richard Dunwoody and Sara Moore (Company Secretary).

Clerk of the Course at Cartmel as well as Assistant Clerk at York Racecourse, Anthea said “It is an honour to have been asked to join the Board of the AJA, through whom I gained huge experience and had a lot of fun when I rode as an amateur.  I look forward to helping the current and future amateur riders do the same.”

Jockey Ross Birkett breaks Guinness World Record in London Marathon



Congratulations to amateur jockey Ross Birkett, son of Newmarket trainer Julia Feilden, who has set a new Guiness World Records title for the Fastest Marathon dressed as a jockey, reaching the finish line in 3 hours 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

This was a huge achievement for Ross, who broke his foot only 6 weeks ago!  He wore breeches, silks, a helmet and goggles and had to carry a whip for the entire 26.2 miles and his time was incredible.  Well done Ross!



So far this year in this fantastic Ladies Pro/Am Arabian Series Great Britain has been represented in Oman (Michelle Edden), Australia (Aly Deniel won), St Moritz (professional Lucy Alexander 2nd) and Texas (Joanna Walton).  The 5th race of 2014 takes place in Casablanca, Morocco on Friday 11th April and we will be represented by Serena Brotherton.  The series then moves on to Toulouse a week later.


Conditions of this series now ask for ladies with at least 5 wins to be able to ride at 9 stone.   Winners can be either Arab racing, point-to-pointing or under Rules, or a combination of these.  Girls who have already ridden in the seres are ineligible.  If you are eligible and would like to ride in this series please e-mail as soon as possible.

Rachel King awarded Darley ride of the year 2013


Our FEGENTRI representative 2011 Rachel King, who recently emigrated to work in Australia, was nominated by ARO for the Darley Ride of the Year 2013 and invited by Lara Sawaya to attend the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Darley Awards evening in Hollywood USA on 4th April.


To her delight, Rachel’s long journey was well worthwhile as she won!  Many congratulations to Rachel on winning this prestigious award in recognition of her skills in the saddle.  Huge thanks also to Lara Sawaya for her fantastic support of lady jockeys worldwide with her global ladies Arabian series which also strongly supports amateur clubs worldwide.

Freddy Tett rides for GB in Oman



The first of a 2-day race meeting was enjoyed in Oman today with the gentlemen’s race including GB Fegentri rider Freddy Tett.  En route to the racecourse lunch was provided in a bedouin tent in the dessert.



Racing was followed by the Fegentri Gala Dinner in Muscat where Freddie Mitchell, last year’s gentleman representative for Great Britain, received his golden spurs for achieving the Fegentri World Championship for gentlemen.




Oman hosts the 59th Fegentri General Assembly


The Fegentri 2014 AGM was held in Al Bustan Palace in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, on Thursday 3rd April by kind invitation of Brigadier Abdul Razak Alshahwarzi, Commander of the Royal Cavalry, Oman.  An opening ceremony presided over by the Sultan of Oman took place before the AGM when Fegentri President Madame Nathalie Bélinguier announced the recent sponsorship she had negotiated on behalf of Fegentri with Longines with a 5 year term.  This sponsorship agreement asks for all host racecourses of Fegentri races worldwide to display Longines/Fegentri banners on-course and for winning horses to wear Longines/Fegentri rugs. img_3308.jpg

All board members stood for re-election and with the retirement of France’s Baron Jean de Bretizel, France nominated their new amateur club President, Gérard de Chevigny.  In addition Susan Leahy, President of the Irish Qualified Riders, put her name forward.  After votes were cast, it was announced that all existing Board members stand (including Sarah Oliver of the AJA) and that Susan Leahy joins the Board for the new 3 year term.  Many congratulations to Susan.


The Fegentri General Assembly will be hosted by Norway in 2015 and by Germany in 2016.

Sam Waley-Cohen enjoys Crabbie’s Fox Hunters success


A perfect preparation for Saturday’s Grand National bid with LONG RUN was enjoyed today by Sam Waley-Cohen when his new recruit WARNE carried him to victory in the Fox Hunter’s Chase.

Managing to avoid loose horses for most of the way around, WARNE gave a thrilling display leading from start to finish and passing the post 13 lengths ahead of last year’s winner, 14 year old TARTAN SNOW.  Favourite MOSSEY JOE (winner of his last 5 races) finished in third place with his rider Damien Skehan picking up an 11 day whip ban.

This was a third success in this race for Sam, riding a horse purchased recently by his father Robert with three American friends who include Charlie Fenwick, the amateur who won the 1980 Grand National on BEN NEVIS.

Poignantly the victory resulted in the Waley-Cohen family being presented with the trophy that they themselves had presented to Aintree in memory of Sam’s brother.  Thomas Waley-Cohen died aged 20 of bone cancer 10 years ago and Sam dedicated his success to him.  Sam said “When we won the race with Katarino there was no owner’s trophy so we decided to give something in memory of Thomas.  We have been trying to win it back ever since and I am so excited to be here and to have done that.  Thomas lives and rides with me the whole time and it’s a great day.”

Downpatrick Trainer Brian Hamilton said that winning connections would probably bypass Punchestown now and aim for the Galway Plate. Many congratulations to them all.