Category: General News



  • 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 :)

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.

All-Weather Season Hots Up


With the All-Weather season soon to reach its climax, this season has just 3 races left for amateur jockeys (Wolverhampton 7th & 16th February and season finale for the first time at Southwell on 25th March).  With the professional season’s final raceday scheduled at Lingfield’s extravaganza on Good Friday 3rd April, this brings our corresponding seasons as near together as possible.  Current positions are:



Multiple champion Simon Walker has dominated much of this season but he is being given a good run by Joanna Mason (below) who is enjoying her best season to date on this surface.


Serena Brotherton has leapt up the tables recently following her win at Southwell on Tuesday with AMAZING BLUE SKY for Ruth Carr (below) and joins Ross Birkett in third place (10 points).


Serena and Simon have been old adversaries for this championship title for the past few years and both currently share the 2013/14 title having finished last season on equal points!  Following her win, Serena said “I was struggling for most of the way but then he came back on the bridle and I was left in front sooner than I intended.  It wasn’t a great race but he’s a grand old horse.”  (Now a 9 year old, Amazing Blue Sky was making his 107th start on the Flat and his 113th in total following a recent spell over jumps, and this was his 11th Flat win!)


AJA Membership Fee 2015


As from 1st January 2015, the cost of AJA annual membership (which gives a full 12 months cover from whatever date you join) will rise from £90 pa to £100 pa.  AJA membership automatically insures its members for riding out anywhere worldwide.

AJA membership cost represents fantastic value for money, being available to anyone under 70 years of age, regardless of whether or not they are a licensed jockey.

Please note that cover is for temporary disability only, and there is no cover for permanent disability, third party or death.  Benefit is for £150 to be paid after the first 35 days incapacitated for up to a maximum of 52 weeks.

Chris Martin leaps into lead in All-Weather Championship


Congratulations to BRENDAN POWELL on riding his first winner under rules in the first division of Southwell’s All-Weather for his father Brendan senior today.  The trainer said: “He’s had a couple of hundred rides flapping in Ireland and this is all he’s ever wanted to do.”

The second division was a repeat of last year’s race with Jackie Kiely enjoying visiting his favourite track, beating Bright Sparky to score for the 10th time at Southwell!  This win was significant for jockey CHRIS MARTIN, giving him 5 points to leap ahead of current leader SIMON WALKER in the Amateur All-Weather Championship with only two days All-Weather racing of the amateur season remaining (12th and 21st February, both at Wolverhampton).  The current table is as follows:

Results up to

9th February 2011






1st (5 points)

2nd (2 points)

3rd (1 point)







Mr Chris Martin




Mr Simon Walker




Miss Becky Brisbourne




Mr Freddie Mitchell




Mr Brendan Powell




Miss Pernilla Harmansson




Mr Justin Newman




Mr Joe Coffill-Brown





Mr Oliver Greenall



Mr Stephen Harrison



Miss Lucy Horner



Mr Marcus Price



Mr Declan Queally



Mr Jack Quinlan



Mr Robbie Williams





As from Tuesday 31st July 2007, the newly created interactive Orders and Rules of Racing (the ‘Rules’) and Guide to Procedures and Penalties (the ‘Guide’) will be available online.

Access can be gained either directly through or via the British Horseracing website (

Online access to the Rules and Guide ensures that both publications are fully up to date and also provides:

· Easy to use menus and search facilities

· Links between the Rules and their respective penalties

· Highlighted Rule changes (with effective date), together with the ability to view old versions and proposed changes

· Ability to print or copy text into other office documents

In the light of accessibility to the Rules and Guide online, hard copies will no longer be sent out on an annual basis.

Any Amateur Rider who still wishes to receive a hard copy of either publication can obtain one by request from the Licensing Department. Please contact Alexandra Walls on 020 7189 3844.