“It’s extremely satisfying coming back in and having a happy owner, a happy trainer and a happy horse”
Tom Marquand – Jockey
I’m currently based at Richard Hannon’s and most days I’m in the yard nice and early to muck and ride out as many horses as I have time for before I go racing. I usually drive to the races as I’m often booked to ride at two meetings a day, which can be a bit of a rush! After all my races are done, I come home and get ready to do it all again.
None of my family were involved in racing growing up – in fact none of them were involved with horses at all – so it’s a bit strange how it all came about. I was just fixated on being a jockey from a young age and first started to get involved with racing properly at the age of 12.
I used to get riding lessons and ended up getting a pony. I also got the chance to ride a friend’s pony for pony racing and did that for about three seasons altogether. I then spent a lot of time at the British Racing School and did half a season of Arab racing as well when I was 15, in between riding out for a few different yards, before heading back to Hannon’s once I’d finished school.
Riding winners is by far the best part of the job and I think any jockey would agree. It’s extremely satisfying coming back in and having a happy owner, a happy trainer and a happy horse. It’s why we all do it.
In terms of advice, you can never do too much in the yard and you can never offer your help enough. It’s all part of being an apprentice and going through the first stages of your career. That’s how you get your initial rides and you just have to get stuck in and work hard. That’s all you can do.
Becoming a Jockey
The first stage in becoming a Jockey is to be employed full time by a Trainer. Subject to their approval and the passing of a pre-licence assessment the applicant will then be able to attend the Apprentice/Conditional Licence Course in order to obtain a Jockey licence.
Search for Trainers looking for a Jockey on the Job Board, or if you’d like to find out more about the training courses available visit the Jockey Training page.