Former jockeys who have built successful careers after leaving the saddle were recognised at Cheltenham racecourse yesterday (Sunday 16 November).
A tree surgeon, police officer and an investment consultant were all winners in the 2014 Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme (JETS) Richard Davis awards.
For the first time in 19 years there were joint winners of the JETS achievement award (pictured below left).
After riding 100 National Hunt winners, Richie Killoran, with the help of JETS, retrained as an investment management consultant and now works for Marriott Asset Management.
“I appreciate the recognition I have received from winning this award and it’s great to see other retired jockeys going into such varied careers,” he said.
Craig Messenger who joined the police after a career-ending injury, was the joint winner.
Craig joined Kent police as a police community support officer (PCSO) earlier this year.
“Although I miss my life as a jockey, I really enjoy my role as a PCSO as it gives me the opportunity to give something back to the community,” he said.
The 2014 Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) progress award winner was Dan Fortt (pictured right), who set up a tree surgery business after retiring from race riding.
“The past six years have been a difficult time for my family as I have undergone seven operations from a shoulder reconstruction to a recent hip replacement,” he said.
“During this time JETS and the IJF have provided both moral and financial support that has enabled me to start my own business and start to build a life for my family.”
JETS manager Lisa Delany said, “All our judges were impressed by the determination and initiative shown by our winners in forging second careers in such completely different environments to racing.”
The annual awards were set up in memory of the late Richard Davis who had started planning for his future before his fatal race fall in 1996.
JETS is jointly funded from jockeys’ own prize money contributions and the IJF.
Since its inception in 1995 jockeys and the ILF have invested over £1.1m in the scheme, which has helped over 800 current and former jockeys with career advice and retraining.
For more information visit: www.jets-uk.org