Our military amateur riders are an integral part of our membership and the names of Erica Bridge and Guy Disney should be familiar to everyone after their many exploits and successes at our annual Sandown military meetings.
Both jockeys took to a different stage at the weekend when riding in Merano (Erica currently stationed in Italy) and congratulations to Erica on a valiant 4th place with Guy 7th.
Here is the official press release:
Two British military amateur riders rode in a 3300m Fegentri organised race over natural hedges at Merano in the South Tirol region of Italy yesterday (Sat 23 Sep). Captain Guy Disney flew in to partner Sareerah, a 4 year old filly trained by A. Bianco. Lieutenant Colonel Erica Bridge, already based in northern Italy due to her husband’s NATO posting, rode Dalton, a 5 year old gelding trained by Ilenia Nero and ridden in the famous colours of the double Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Ribot.
The participation of the military riders was made possible due to the assistance of Merano racecourse and Major Domenico D’Alò. D’Alò is an Italian Signals officer who rode in the 2017 Grand Military Gold Cup and won the Annington Homes Queen Mother Memorial Hurdle Race for Nicky Henderson on Silverhowe at Sandown Park in March.
Some of the best amateur riders in Europe were amongst the 12 in the line up, including the eventual winner on Relco Sud Ovest, Barbara Guenet, the leading French Lady Amateur rider and Riccardo Belluco, the leading Italian Amateur, who has already notched up 20 wins in the series so far this season with over €72.000 in prize money.
Merano has to be one of the most stunning racecourses around, surrounded by the Dolomites, with vineyards and Tyrolean villages nestled high up in the mountains. 3300m ‘siepi’ course is in a tight figure of 8, which demanded a fairly high standard of horsemanship and spatial awareness to negotiate the turns at speed. With one faller and a flying plank of wood from the base of one of the fences, it was not a race devoid of excitement.
D’Alò managed to finish 2nd on Albina behind Relco Sud Ovest. Dalton quickened over the last for Bridge to finish well in 4th and Disney, whose instructions were to finish whatever happened, came home 7th.
It was a great experience for the British military riders to race in Italy, particularly at such a big venue and on the first day of the two-day Gran Premio meeting.
Are you a very light gentleman amateur jockey who seeks race riding opportunities abroad?
An invitation has arrived for a gentleman jockey who can ride at only 9 stone to ride in Wuhan, China, at their 15th International Horse Racing Festival.
The International Invitational Race will be a 1100 metre non-handicapped and non-thoroughbred race on 21st October. All expenses will be paid for flights and accommodation as well as local transportation and meals. This is a unique and extraordinary experience to look forward to. All jockeys are asked to arrive on 18th October and return on 23rd October.
If you are interested and have a current passport and licence as well as no problem riding at this very light weight please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to put your name forward.
Its not very often that an amateur jockey enjoys a winning ride on 2 consecutive days, but to ride a winner on 3 consecutive days is very rare. Make that 3 wins in 3 days in 3 different countries and it is extraordinary.
That is exactly what Freddie Tett achieved recently when he began the last weekend in August riding in France’s inaugural point-to-point at Vaumas on Saturday. Riding as a non-nominated guest rider in the inaugural The Gentlemen’s League series in the cross country race, Fred sent the Augustine Adeline de Boisbrunet-trained SARIKA to the front 5 fences from home and managed to hold on in a photo finish from the fast finishing URGENT DE GREGAINE and Ireland’s Dean Sinnott, with William Easterby 3rd on ALPHA TIEP. A video of the day can be seen here of the day’s racing, with the pont-to-point race starting at approx 1:28:30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvah4k4-Gus
Well done also to William Easterby who rides for GB in this year’s Gentlemen’s League (against France and Ireland) and went on to win a race of his own on the same day.
A 3 am start on Sunday morning saw Fred back in the UK in time to partner his mother’s horse MR RED CLUBS at Goodwood trained by his brother Henry and running in the Gay Kindersley memorial amateur riders’ Handicap. 11 went to post with Fred content to bide his time until about 2 furlongs out, where he wore down the leaders to pull clear inside the final furlong and win by a couple of lengths.
Next stop Les Landes, Jersey on Bank Holiday Monday for the first race of the day over hurdles which he duly won by 4 lengths when riding against professionals aboard BOWL IMPERIOR for local trainer Alyson Malzard. Well done Fred on a great weekend’s work and a unique achievement!
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!
A memorable week was held in Abu Dhabi for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival with lady riders who have ridden in this year’s HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Arabian World Series attending the jockey conference: Carol Bartley, Serena Brotherton, Alyson Deniel, Joanna Mason, Alice Mills, Rebecca Smith, Anna Wallace and Catherine Walton. The week culminated in both the Apprentice and Lady Riders finales with GB represented in the ladies race by professional (ex-amateur) Alice Mills and by Catherine Walton, having won their respective races in Bahrain and Belgium earlier in the year.
Riding the favourite RB DIXIE BURNING trained by Eric Lemartinel, Catherine was able to ride with hands and heels only to win comfortably on the mare. Following her victory she said “She moved nicely and once she got to the front on the final bend she just pulled away.”
Many thanks to Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and the driving force behind the Sheikh Mansoor Festival that is Lara Sawaya for providing such great race riding opportunities for our lady jockeys throughout the year. Thanks must also go to Pat Buckley and all at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Emirates Racing Authority for their help and support.
Many congratulations to Catherine who has only ridden Arabian horses for the first time this year – in Belgium and in Abu Dhabi – and won each time!
Exciting international news for next week for jockeys! The HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Series Finales for both the Lady riders and the Apprentice Jockeys is eagerly anticipated in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 13 November and GB are proud to announce that amateur Catherine Walton will be representing her country and riding there together with ex-amateur Alice Mills! Catherine secured her ride in the ladies finale after her storming win in Belgium on 15th August. In addition Lambourn based Nora Looby represents Ireland and Newmarket vet Manuela Slamanig represents Austria. Meanwhile in the apprentice race Rowan Scott rides and represents GB whilst Newmarket based Milly Naseb represents Jordan.
Good luck🍀to all 16 international lady jockeys who represent 13 different countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. And good luck🍀to all apprentice jockeys who represent 16 different countries: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Jordan, Mauritius, Oman, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea and USA.
The Sheikh Mansoor Festival greatly appreciates the support of all trainers in releasing their apprentices to participate in not only the series throughout the year but also to attend the Conference from 7-14 November in Abu Dhabi. Many thanks also to trainers who support our lady amateur jockeys in participating.
Thanks to Pat Buckley and Sam Shinsky at Emirates Racing Authority for all of their help and support and the biggest thanks of all to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, who enables these fantastic racing opportunities to raise the profile and expand the careers of so many jockeys worldwide.
Good luck everyone! Also attending the Conference having participated in this year’s series will be: Carol Bartley, Serena Brotherton, Alyson Deniel, Joanna Mason, Becky Smith, Anna Wallace, Evanna McCutcheon, Gemma Tutty, Jordan Uys, Andrew Breslin, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Dylan Hogan and Keith Moriarty.
Many congratulations to Amie Waugh on making such a good job of representing GB this weekend in the European Ladies Championships.
Amie made it a winning ride at Kincsem Racecourse in Budapest on Saturday aboard INFLAGRANT and nearly came home with a double having gone into the lead with ELEGANT PRINCESS in Bratislava on Sunday.
Sadly the weight cloth slipped, the lead fell out and Amie was subsequently disqualified! Nevertheless she had a great weekend and many thanks go to our friends in Bratislava and Budapest for this great opportunity for the girls! Well done Amie!
The 12th of 15 races of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak 2016 Ladies World Championship Series took place at Hippodrome Wellington, Ostend, Belgium on Monday 15th August. International lady jockeys represented 10 different countries: 🇧🇪Belgium, 🇩🇰Denmark, 🇩🇪Germany, 🇬🇧Great Britain, 🇮🇪Ireland,🇮🇹Italy, 🇳🇴Norway, 🇴🇲Oman, 🇵🇱Poland and 🇪🇸Spain.
We are immensely proud that Catherine Walton riding for Great Britain enjoyed a winner in only her first ever Arabian race! Riding MESSI for Belgian owner-trainer Vido Keersmaekers, Catherine’s horse responded to her strong driving to lead inside the final furlong and stay on well, winning by 3/4 of a length. Catherine’s career highlight up until this point had been winning the Ladies Open Hunterchase at Cheltenham in 2014 with Ockey De Neuilliac! Following her success she said “I was looking forward to this ride and I just tried my best.” By coincidence, this same race was won by amateur jockey Page Fuller on MESSI’s full brother in 2015!
Many thanks to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, for another great race enjoyed by lady jockeys from all over the world. Catherine now looks forward to riding in the ladies finale in Abu Dhabi on 13th November alongside her compatriot Alice Mills, ex-amateur and now professional jockey, who won in Bahrain earlier this year. Well done Catherine!
Huge congratulations from us all here in the UK to our top ex-amateur jockey Rachel King who had an unforgettable weekend in what is now her own Australia with 2 winners at Muswellbrook on Friday and her 1st career treble at Mudgee on Sunday! What an achievement! Go Rachel!🌟