‘You have to say please and thank you’: jump jockey tries Arab racing

Jump jockey Bryony Frost is switching codes in the saddle and will be taking the reins in some Arabian racing during her summer break from the National Hunt season.

The 24-year-old rider, who was crowned champion conditional jockey in April, will don the famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan during the Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury on 28 July.

“Riding Arabian horses competitively for the first time will be a challenge but I’ve had lots of help and advice from trainers James Owen and Richard Hills and I can’t wait,” said Bryony.

“Arabians are real characters, they’re very intelligent and really switched on. You have to take them through their gears slowly and make sure you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ — but once you get them there, they really start to roll.”

Bryony gained some valuable experience racing the breed before the big day when partnering the Sheikh Hamdan-owned Jaahez to third place at Bath yesterday (3 July) in a 10-furlong contest for purebred Arabians.

James Owen, a former amateur rider who rode more than 50 Arabian winners on the Flat, added: “It has been great to have the opportunity to welcome Bryony to the yard and to introduce her to some of Sheikh Hamdan’s purebred Arabians.

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“Having ridden both jump horses and Arabians I hope I’ve been able to give Bryony some good advice. Arabians and thoroughbreds are very different in character but I am sure as an accomplished horsewoman Bryony will be able to make the most of her ride.”

The former point-to-point jockey hit the headlines in March when becoming the first female to ride a Grade One winner over fences at the Cheltenham Festival, with her victory in the Ryanair Chase aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon.

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