After accepting a coaching program, the O’Brien team is reaping the benefits.


After accepting a coaching program, the O’Brien team is reaping the benefits.

Trainer Fergal O’Brien has already noticed a significant improvement in the riding ability of individuals who have accepted the jockey instruction program after only a year.

The 25 full-time and part-time employees at Ravenswell Farm near Cheltenham have wasted little time in developing their riding skills since Sally Randell, O’Brien’s assistant and partner, finished the jockey-coach course.

UK coaching week runs from June 7 to 13, presenting one of the numerous training programs and modules available through the Racing2Learn platform for employees across the industry. There is something for everyone who wants to improve their professional chances thanks to funding from the Racing Foundation.

“Having young people come through and trying to train them up so they can come in one side and leave out the other fully trained and able to do a job in other yards or other sectors of the industry has been tremendously helpful to us at the yard,” O’Brien said.

“The jockey coaching has been fantastic because it gives them a sounding board as well.

“It’s also helpful for part-timers who are attending a local college or university.

“Their day-to-day job is mucking out and riding and whatnot, but some of them have never worked in racing before, so having the simulator in the British Racing School lorry is fantastic for them to come into a racing yard.

“It teaches them about stance, and Sally can film them on the gallops,” says the instructor. It assists us in improving their horsemanship and other skills.”

“It’s a civilian sports coaching certificate and a real qualification,” Randell, a former successful amateur cyclist, said. The racing industry runs it quite well.

“I don’t believe it’s necessary for you to have raced in this job because the experience you need is within racing, not necessarily as a jockey, but I do believe it helps. When I was a smaller trainer, I always assisted in bringing young individuals through and assisting them in getting their first point-to-point rides.”

Tia Harrison is a young woman from the United States. (This is a brief piece.)


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