Category: General News

Calendar update for All-Weather jockeys


Important calendar correction for All-Weather Amateur Jockeys: 

The BHA have kindly re-arranged Wolverhampton’s amateur race originally planned for 23rd March (but which clashed with Lingfield) by kind agreement with Wolverhampton racecourse. Many thanks to all concerned.

It has now been rescheduled for 28th March and will be our final All-Weather race of the amateur 2019/20 season when championship presentations will take place.



Following a period of consultation with industry stakeholders, the BHA Board has approved changes to the Rules of Racing regarding safety vests which come into force from 1st October 2018:

  • Level 1 safety vests to be replaced by Level 2 safety vests EN 13158:2009 or 2018
  • Weight allowance: an extra 1 lb in addition to the current 2 lbs making a total of 3 lbs allowance for the vest

The amended rules are as follows:

 For implementation from October 1st 2018 

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment PART 1 

Design of safety vests 

6. A safety vest is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or 2018. 

7. The minimum acceptable standard for a safety vest is Level 2 

8. A safety vest must not be 

8.1 modified in any way, or 

8.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse. 

Rule (B)22 – Weighing out procedure 

22.6 The Clerk of the Scales will not allow a Rider to be weighed out for any race unless he is wearing a safety vest which conforms to a standard approved by the Authority (see Rule (D)36 (safety vests, skull caps and saddles)). 

22.7 Rule (D)42 (weighing out) specifies requirements applying to a Rider on weighing out, including the items he must include in the scale. 

22.8 Overweight will be rounded down to the nearest 1lb unit. 

22.9 Subject to Paragraph 22.10, to compensate for being required to wear a safety vest, the weight of a Rider on weighing out will automatically be allowed at 3lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales). 

22.10 During the months of December, January and February, to compensate for wearing a safety vest and extra clothing, the weight of the Rider on weighing out for a flat race will automatically be allowed at 4lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales).



A reminder to all jockeys who might be riding abroad in the near future, please take the time to read the following regarding INSURANCE FOR JOCKEYS RIDING ABROAD:

1 Make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card. It is free of charge and is easy to apply for on-line at

This card gives you the right to access state-provided health care when in Europe either at a reduced cost or in many cases free of charge.

You need a National Insurance number or a National Health number in order to apply.

2 Make sure your Amateur Jockeys Association membership is up-to-date and valid so that in the event of an emergency you are entitled to help and support which is always available.

3 Make sure you have clearance from the BHA both from the Medical Department and Licensing Disciplinary so that there are no problems when you come to weigh out abroad.

4 Make sure you are race riding under the Rules of Racing under the jurisdiction of a Horseracing Authority which is recognised worldwide in order for your jockey race riding insurance (which comes with your BHA licence from weigh out to weigh in) to be valid.

5 Make sure that you purchase your own personal travel insurance in addition to the BHA insurance which your licence gives you. The BHA insurance does not cover repatriation if you have to be flown home in an emergency (cost approximately £25,000+) and therefore it really is worth it to purchase some travel insurance on-line for a small cost!

We recommend Boots Travel Insurance with the Option 3 Hazardous Sports included. You only have to purchase this for the day of your race to minimise costs and it could make all the difference if something goes wrong and you sustain an injury.

6 Make sure you are registered with a GP in the UK. This might sound unnecessary but for some Irish jockeys now based in the UK this is really important.

7 A further reminder for jockeys considering working abroad this summer: If a rider is based overseas and hopes to ride under Rules overseas, a permit must be sought from the relative governing authority in which they are currently based (e.g. France Galop, Direktorium Für Vollblutzucht Und Rennen).

Riders with existing and valid BHA Amateur Rider permits can ride overseas for up to a period of up to thirty consecutive days. After a period of thirty successive days overseas, riders’ insurance ceases to be valid.

Permits will not be renewed or granted for individuals that are not permanently based in Britain at the time of application.

AJA AGM date revised to 6th February 2018


Please can all members note that the AJA AGM originally planned to take place on Monday next 4th December has been postponed until Tuesday 6th February to enable as many of our officials and committee to attend as possible.

The AGM will take place in The Oak Room, The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon at 12 noon and all AJA members are welcome.


AJA AGM to be held on Monday 4th December


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 2017 Annual General meeting of the AJA will be held on Monday 4 December 2017 at 12:00 noon at The Orangery, The Crown and Sandys Hotel, Main Road, Ombersley, Worcestershire WR9 0EW when the following ordinary business will be considered:

  1. to receive apologies for absence
  2. to consider and if thought fit to approve and confirm the Minutes of the previous AGM and to authorise the President to sign them
  3. to receive and consider the report of the directors
  4. to receive and consider the report of the Chief Executive
  5. to receive and consider and if thought fit to pass a resolution adopting the accounts for twelve months ending 31 December 2016. The accounts are now completed and copies will be available at the AGM. Alternatively, on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope, copies will be sent to members on written request
  6. to consider and if thought fit to pass a resolution electing directors.
    (a) Richard Burton (proposed by Bob Davies and seconded by Anthea Morshead)
    (b) David Dunsdon (proposed by Bob Davies and seconded by Anthea Morshead)
    (c) Emily Jones (proposed by Serena Brotherton and seconded by Annabelle Armitage)
    (d) Fiona Needham (proposed by Bob Davies and seconded by Anthea Morshead)
    (e) The following director retires at the AGM in accordance with Regulations 26.1 and 26.2 and offers himself for re-election: Bob Davies (nominated by Richard Dunwoody and seconded by Anthea Morshead.) Should any other person wish to stand for election as a director he or she is referred to the provisions of regulation 27.
  7. to re-appoint Andrew Winterburn Chartered Accountants as auditors and to authorise the directors to fix their remuneration

Dated: 20 November 2017

By order of the board

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead. A proxy need not be a member of the company.



  • mainlogo-1Are you aged 18 to 29 and employed within the racing industry either as an amateur jockey or apprentice jockey or involved in some other capacity?
  • Might you be interested in taking advantage of professional mentorship opportunities abroad?
  • Would you be able to commit to a scholarship opportunity for up to 8 weeks?
  • Have you finished at least one year or graduated from your home Racing Academy or other entity that provides horse racing or related industry workforce training?


If so, you may be interested in a unique opportunity that is available to over 20 students to become involved in an international student exchange programme, the Racing Scholarship Fund, which, thanks to the generosity of Sheikh Mansoor and under the leadership of Lara Sawaya, has been set up by IFHRA (International Federation of Horse Racing Academies) (includes the British Racing School and Northern Racing College).

The IFHRA Racing Scholarship Fund (RSF) is designed to benefit both students of IFHRA member racing academies and employers within the horse racing and related industries. Students will work abroad in real-world situations gaining experience and benefitting from mentorships which will be a long-term benefit to future careers. At the same time, future employers will also benefit from students who have experienced the IFHRA RSF and who have therefore gained training in the newest practices our industry offers.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to gain unique experience and broaden your horizons! If you would like to apply for one of these valuable places, you can contact either the BRS or the NRC or alternatively e-mail immediately for further details and an application pack.

Hurry because the official closing date is 15th October. Please do not delay!

Licensed amateurs who are AJA members benefit from 50% Racing UK discount


Did you know that one of the benefits of AJA membership for any licensed amateur jockey (Flat, Jump or Point-to-Point licence holders included) is that you are entitled to 50% discount of subscription to Racing UK?

This in itself actually would cover the cost of AJA membership (currently £100 for 12 months) within a year!

This generous discount is in addition to the automatic insurance which all AJA members are entitled to upon joining.

If you would like to apply for the RUK discount, please download the form from the link below and post it to the AJA for it to be actioned for you.




AJA sponsors new amateur race in Jersey 12th July


For any amateur jockey who has never visited the Channel Isles, an ideal opportunity now exists within our racing calendar!  Sunday 12th July is Champion Hurdle Day at Les Landes and includes the AJA’s inaugural running of a 1m 2f flat handicap for 3 year olds and up rated 0-65.  The race will be the 5th race on the card at 5:10 pm.  We need trainer support for this race with limited horses available on the island so please persuade your trainer to enter and spread the word!

Les Landes is a popular racecourse with many English jockeys including amateur Freddy Tett who rode 6 winners there last summer and has already enjoyed a double there last weekend. Serena Brotherton also travelled over with City Ground last summer to provide Mick Easterby with his first-ever winner in Jersey.

For further details which include a travel allowance please contact Charlotte Francis at The Jersey Race Club tel: 01534 864136 or mob: 07829 863484.

AJA delighted to announce 2015 Betfair Novice Amateur Flat Series


The third running of the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series is looked forward to by The Amateur Jockeys Association who are delighted to announce this year’s calendar.  The Series is open to amateur jockeys who are members of the AJA and who at the start of the 2015 Flat Season have ridden no more than 3 winners under the Rules of Racing (both Jump and Flat).  This excludes Point-to-Point and Arab racing wins.

As in previous years, The Amateur Jockeys Association will manage the series in consultation with the British Horseracing Authority.  Jockey Coaches based at the Northern Racing College near Doncaster will also repeat their invaluable role walking the course with participating jockeys before each race to offer help and advice as well as providing invaluable feedback following weigh in with video support.

This year the series of 8 races culminates in the finale at Carlisle’s meeting on Wednesday 9th September.  Points will be awarded to riders with 10 points for the winner, 6 for second, 4 for third and 2 for fourth.  Also-rans will be awarded 1 point.  In addition to winning connections being presented with Betfair trophies after each race, the winning series jockey will be presented with the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series Trophy.  The series winning slot was shared jointly last year by Phil Dennis and Joanna Walton.

The 8-race 2015 series is scheduled to take place as follows:

Saturday 4th July Nottingham

Wednesday 15th July Catterick Bridge

Wednesday 22nd July Leicester

Wednesday 29th July Redcar

Sunday 9th August Royal Windsor

Monday 10th August Thirsk

Bank Holiday Monday 31st August Ripon

Wednesday 9th September Carlisle

Barry Orr, Head of Public Relations at Betfair, commented today: ‘’This series has been well received and supported by all aspects of the racing community and we are happy to once again give it our backing. Many thanks to Sarah Oliver for her continued hard work in ensuring the 8 races are a success for all involved’’

Dawn Goodfellow, CEO of The Northern Racing College, said “The Northern Racing College are delighted to be supporting this series, which we see as providing an excellent educational opportunity for amateur riders, thus further driving up the already high standards that we enjoy seeing from British amateur riders.”

Sarah Oliver, CEO of the AJA, said “Enquries are already coming in for this series which is eagerly awaited by many of our members.  Last year’s races proved as popular as ever and it was excellent to see 45 individual novice flat amateurs enjoy 84 rides between them on 8 different racecourses.  In addition, three of the participating jockeys – the series joint-winner Phil Dennis as well as Dylan McDonagh and Megan Nicholls – went on to take out their apprentice licences.  Since then Megan has enjoyed her first professional winning ride at Wolverhampton at the end of February for James Eustace.

Once again this series has provided a launching pad for the careers of young amateurs who often struggle to get rides through lack of opportunity. Thanks to the generosity of Betfair’s sponsorship, 2015 sees the series continue with 8 races offering race riding opportunities combined with education and training and for this we are extremely grateful.”




Having raised over £1 million over the last 5 years for Cancer Research UK, Cheltenham Festival’s charity race is supporting a new charity familiar to us all this year – THE INJURED JOCKEYS FUND – on Thursday 12th March.

This year’s riders Clifford Baker 🙂 Lucy Charnock :) Simon Clare:) Phillip Clark :) James Collins :) Jono Mills :) Olive Murphy :) Andrew Nicholson :) Hayley O’Connor :) Emily Scott :) Rod Trow :) and Tommy Williams :)  are all gaining full fitness in readiness for the race and at the same time fundraising like crazy at every opportunity.  If you would like to support a particular rider, you can find them on Just Giving; if you would prefer to support the race in general, please visit and any gift however small will really help.  You know its for a brilliant cause AND WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP! 🙂  Thank you so much :)