Jacqueline Coward: For the love of the sport [H&H VIP]

  • At the start of every new season, jockeys hope they will retain the rides from the previous season as well as acquire new ones.

    Luckily, in this amateur sport, owners and trainers are genuine and loyal. People are not in it for the money, but for the craic and love of the sport, so are more likely to stick with their jockeys.

    As a jockey and trainer, we really appreciate understanding and supportive owners.

    Everybody’s confidence can take a knock from time to time and the horses aren’t always 100%, so it means a lot to know you have owners’ backing.

    When we get new horses into our yard, it will sometimes take me a few runs to work them out. In my experience, horses from a big yard tend to thrive in a smaller, more intimate set-up, which I believe is because they get more one-to-one attention. It certainly works for us.

    Keeping it amateur

    Channel 4 racing broadcaster Nick Luck brought up some interesting points last month.

    “I love point-to-pointing, but it should be for moderates, veterans and talented youngsters. Not stripping out good grassroots NH [National Hunt] stock,” he tweeted.

    Nick feels the mid-range horses are not catered for under Rules so are going pointing instead.

    Professional trainers are also sending horses pointing, and I know this makes the hardworking, true amateur livid.

    Reiterating Darren Edwards’ comment, it is a fantastic idea to have a bumper race restricted to unlicensed trainers. Their talents can then be seen on a bigger picture.

    ‘Whopping’ entries

    The Yorkshire season kicked off on Sunday at the ever-popular Sheriff Hutton, which attracted a whopping 102 runners, causing a three-way split of the club members’ riders conditions race. Eight races meant we finished the day in the dark.

    It was great to see so many people supporting the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and to see a relatively new meeting doing so well. Let’s hope this season continues to be as successful as it’s started.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 15 January 2015