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Festive stars: the 17-year-old jockey making waves between the flags

Over this festive season, we are shining a light on up-and-coming talent across the equestrian disciplines. These are riders you really need to keep an eye out for during the 2020 season...

At just 17, jockey Ben Bromley is already making a name for himself on the point-to-point field, and with hopes to one day turn professional, he is certainly a rider to keep an eye on in the future.

The young rider has racing in his blood, his father, Anthony, is a top bloodstock agent, and Ben has been riding since his early childhood days.

“I started pony racing aged 12 on my hunting pony,” says Ben, who enjoyed five wins pony racing. “It was a great introduction to race-riding and it built my confidence in the saddle.”

Ben has the ride on two schoolmasters, the former Paul Nicholls-trained Vivaldi Collonges and Ballykan, who was trained under Rules by Nigel Twiston-Davies — both horses are owned by Ben’s father and he credits them for helping him get going between the flags. He enjoyed his debut win pointing aboard Vivaldi Collenges at Didmarton in March.

“Having a schoolmaster like Vivaldi Collonges was a huge help during my first season and he gave me loads of confidence — he is safe and knows the job,” says Ben. “Vivaldi has had a slight setback but he’ll be back racing in the spring. Ballykan is also an exciting horse for me and I had my first ride on him at Barbury on 15 December, where we finished second.”

Ben is currently enjoying a 40% strike-rate having gained four wins from 10 starts, and will remain in the novice rider ranks for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

Both Vivaldi Collonges and Ballykan are trained by Phil Rowley in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, were Ben is now based full-time.

“I started riding out for Phil, who is a family friend, during my school holidays, but started with him full-time in September — it is my first time living away from my family home near Newmarket. The whole team at Phil’s has been so helpful, and my riding has already come on a lot,” he adds.

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Over the summer months, Ben also rode in some Arab races for his former boss, James Owen.

“I was based with James last season and he was very good to me,” says Ben. “Arabs are much smaller and very different to ride compared to Thoroughbreds — their head carriages are higher and it makes riding a finish slightly harder.”

Ben enjoyed an outside ride at Barbury on 15 December, finishing third on Drumhart for trainer Diana Ralph.

“My plan is to one day to turn professional, but I want to get as much experience beforehand pointing,” he added.

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