20 Jan UK point-to-point riders to gain from former jockeys’ advice
Point-to-point riders are to be offered advice from former professional jockeys as part of the British Horseracing Authority’s Jockey Coaching Programme (JCP).
A series of workshops run by former professional jockeys are being put together, and while initially set up to benefit conditional and apprentice jockeys, the BHA has recognised the importance of including amateur and point-to-point riders. An increasing number of young people – many having ridden in pony races – are now spending a season or two point-to-pointing before turning professional. Sean Bowen, who has made such an impact as a conditional jockey this season, is a prime example.
Gill Greeves, the BHA’s vocational training manager, says: “The very successful BHA Jockey Coaching Programme is growing from strength to strength with the recent launch of Regional Coaching Workshops. For an introductory period we are pleased to invite point-to-point riders to join this exciting new initiative – receiving expert tuition and advice from professional coaches can only benefit them, and I am sure amateur riders will gain by attending one of these workshops.”
The workshops will review and enhance technical and tactical skills, discuss fitness and nutrition and evaluate race-riding skills. A fee of £10 will apply, but the Point-to-Point Owners’ & Riders’ Association (PPORA) will pick up the cost for its members.
This opportunity follows recent news that a ‘concussion bounty’ – a grant of £80 towards a new helmet following a concussive fall – offered to professional jockeys has been extended to point-to-point riders, and is another initiative generated by the Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) with support from the BHA.
Clare Hazell of the PPA, said: “We are grateful to the BHA as this is another positive step for the sport and validates the skill and professionalism required to be a successful rider, regardless of point-to-pointing’s amateur status. The standard of horsemanship has naturally improved over the years and this new initiative will take us forward again. I’m sure many riders will take up the opportunity to work alongside former professionals and learn techniques that will help them before and during a race.”
Two dates for the JCP workshops have been confirmed – at the British Racing School, Newmarket, on January 27 (6 – 9pm) with Michael Tebbutt, and at the Northern Racing College, Doncaster, on February 5 (4 – 7pm) with Tom O’Ryan.
Riders should contact Jennie Durrans on 01638 665103 or [email protected]