Amateur riders' first names to be introduced on racecards
The full names of amateur jockeys will be carried on racecards for the first time from next month, subject to each rider’s wishes.
Zac Baker, who leads the 2017-18 male amateur jockeys' jumps championship with seven wins, is named on Wednesday’s Towcester racecard as Mr Z Baker.
However, from March 1 – as long as he has not indicated a wish to the contrary – he will appear as Mr Zac Baker.
Sarah Oliver, chief executive of the Amateur Jockeys Association, said on Tuesday: “I’ve always been keen on bringing this in, purely to make it more customer-friendly and to raise all amateurs’ profiles.
“Race-callers ring me on a regular basis to find out jockeys’ full names, and it’s common sense to introduce this.
“I've been requesting it for a long time, but there were various bodies I had to go through, including Weatherbys and the Press Association, before we could finally reach agreement with the BHA.”
She added: “Every amateur jockey has been approached and, unless requested otherwise by yesterday – in which case Weatherbys would have been notified – their first name will appear on racecards from March 1.
“I haven’t heard of any objectors yet and believe this move will make everybody’s life easier. I’m really pleased to have got it through.”
The AJA already denotes a rider’s first name when publishing the championship tables on its website.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com