Two former jockeys who changed careers to join the fire brigade and to become a farrier were presented with awards at Cheltenham racecourse yesterday (Sunday 14 November).

Alan Daly and Liam Cooper were rewarded in the Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme (JETS) 2010 Griffins Richard Davis awards.

Alan, who is now a firefighter with Surrey Fire and Rescue took the Griffins achievement award while Liam, who is now a fully qualified farrier, was the winner of the Injured Jockeys Fund progress category.

The awards recognise the effort, initiative and forethought which jockeys and former jockeys put into developing new careers.

Alan, 35, rode more than 200 winners in his career as a Flat jockey. While still raceriding he trained in IT, lorry driving and first aid.

“The training was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do both physically and mentally but I love every second of my new job. The training the fire service provides is brilliant and it’s amazing how our team trainers, Ian Rowley and Mark Way turned us from raw material to fully operational fire fighters in 10 weeks,” said Alan, who received £2,500 for winning.

Former jumps jockey Liam Cooper won £2,000 for the progress award.

“I have enjoyed every bit of my apprenticeship and am hoping to concentrate on racing yards where I can put my jockey experience to good use. Being self employed, this award will enable me to invest in my business for the future,” said Liam.

JETS’s Lisa Delany added: “Alan and Liam are two shining examples of the pool of talent jockeys, as a group, now present to employers. Jockeys are so much better equipped for life after race riding than they used to be and the result is that they are more confident about making the transition, getting braver in their second career choices and have better prospects.”

For more information visit: www.jets-uk.org