Theodore Ladd crowned Series’ Champion for the third time this year

“Racing Excellence series has been fantastic for me- it’s given me a great leg up in the racing world”

Theodore Ladd after been crowned Series’ Champion for the third time this year.

Friday 26th October played host to Newbury’s last flat meeting of the 2018 season, as well as the series’ finale of the Apprentice Hands and Heels Series.

Prior to the final race, Theodore Ladd was way out in the lead, with an insurmountable 19 point lead. Andrew Breslin, apprentice to Mark Johnston, secured victory in the final race by 10 lengths aboard the Robert Eddery trained Graceful Lady. John Reid was on duty to walk the course with the jockeys and assist with the de-brief post-race. William Carver and Poppy Bridgewater finished second and third respective behind our runaway winner Theodore.

21 year old Theodore started riding horses with his friend Shannon McMillan; he told us she taught him the basics to riding. One day they had a race through her fields and she said ‘You look like a jockey’. With no hesitation, Theodore researched the British Racing School and applied for a place on the residential Foundation Course. Theodore was on Course 293, instructed by Aideen Marshall. “I was in Aideen’s group. She did an unbelievable job of being patient with me and inspiring me to work as hard as I can to achieve what I want.”

After leaving the British Racing School, Theodore went on to work for Hughie Morrison where he learned a great deal about racing. He then went on to earn his Apprentice Licence. Theodore was apprentice to Mr Morrison throughout the majority of the race series until recently when he moved north to work with Retford based trainer, Scott Dixon.

Theodore has done incredible, he has won three of the Apprentice Hands and Heels Series including:

  • All- Weather Apprentice Hands and Heels Series 2017/18
  • Shadwell Stud Salisbury Apprentice Series 2018 (Final Table click here)
  • Apprentice Hands and Heels Series 2018 (Final Table click here)

Theodore has been coached by John Reid as part of the Jockey Coaching Programme. He said

“John took me from knowing nothing to educating me for race riding: the position on the horse, balance, pushing, changing hands – basically everything! He has been a fantastic mentor. I have also recently had sessions with John Bramhill who is a bit closer to where I am now. We walk the course a lot and I ring both coaches after every race and talk it through: what went well, what went wrong and what to improve on. They’ve been key to my progression this year.”

Racing Excellence is part of the Jockey Coaching Programme and is the industry accreditation for all Apprentice and Conditional races which run under hands and heels or training race conditions. Theodore expressed how it’s a great series to ride on lots of different courses, as well as building connections with trainers. Walking the course is great, as its key preparation and prepares you for the race. There are 7 Racing Excellence Series that run throughout the year with over 70 races – all of which have a Jockey Coach in attendance, acting as first hand support and guidance to the jockeys.