Lyle Hewitson becomes first apprentice to win South Africa title since Roberts
Lyle Hewitson has become the first since Michael Roberts in 1972-73 to win the South African jockeys’ championship when still an apprentice.
The 20-year-old rode 184 winners from 1,471 rides in the season to July 31 to finish 35 winners clear of Muzi Yeni and was presented with a special award at the Equus Awards Dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
Hewitson, son of former jockey Carl Hewitson, began his race-riding career in work-riders’ races rather than as an apprentice, as his parents were adamant he should finish his schooling.
But he was an instant hit, winning on 23 of his 88 mounts. He was champion work-rider in the 2013-14 season before going to the apprentices' school.
He is renowned for his work ethic and his commitment, and in a Sporting Post interview he put this down to a “passion for racing and horses in general,” adding: “I think that is the biggest part of it all, plus I have a passion to succeed, which is probably the driving force behind everything. Also, hard work never hurt anyone and if you have got that dedication you are staring success in the eye.”
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