19 July 2017

Apprentice Jockeys:

There has been a few articles recently, mainly in the Racing Post about apprentice jockeys.  The focus has been on trainers whose apprentices are riding plenty of outside winners and getting lots of rides for numerous stables.

I believe currently, the employer gets half of the win percentage, and place percentage, this is a 50-50 split,  So for example, if they ride a winner for any trainer that they are not in full time employment for, the employer they work for receives half of his apprentices fees.  I personally think it is fair, as they have given the apprentice they employ, the initial chance to ride in public, and generally support them, especially if they think they are good enough to do well for them.  The big asset is that apprentices take off 7lb, which is reduced with amount of winners they get against senior riders.  And apprentices are hungry !  They want to impress, and do well.

Expenses have been an issue, as some trainers are not giving half of their apprentices fees i.e. Travel and expenses for the day, but some trainers do still pay a full wage to them, so it is not all in favour of the trainer.

One journalist ( Racing Post) did an article that has probably upset a few trainers, known for giving lads/lasses chances, over a period of a few years.  The journalist mentions that the apprentice should have a bigger percentage of fees, for example 75-25 in favour of the rider when his claim has been reduced to 5lb.  But their boss has nurtured and helped the young apprentices development as a rider, as well as pushing the youngsters in the right direction, they teach them how to speak to owners, and give them confidence,  so sadly some trainers have now said they will stop trying to have apprentices, hence not giving youth a chance, because the article was detrimental to the trainers who are known within the horse racing industry, to give youngsters rides.

I believe the journalist has stirred up a hornets nest for no reason !

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