Split training courses so we don't miss out says jockey Blackwell
Separate training courses for conditional and apprentice jockeys should be considered by the BHA and racing schools, it was urged, after riders were left frustrated at having to attend a joint workshop on the same day jump racing returned from a summer recess.
George Blackwell, 19, conditional jockey for Tim Vaughan, missed out on riding at Newton Abbot on Wednesday after being required to attend a course at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster.
With conditionals and apprentices attending the course, finding a date to suit both sets of riders is no easy task, leaving Blackwell to question whether splitting the two groups could be the answer.
He said: “I was a bit frustrated by the fact the workshop was held today as we’ve just had the nine-day gap for the summer.
"It’s hard to please everyone, so I think if they were segregated to conditional-only and apprentice-only that would make it easier for everyone.
“I think I could probably speak for all the conditionals. We’re working hard in the gym every day and working on our riding too. To miss out on rides at this early stage, when they don’t come every day, is a big thing. You want to make every ride count if you can.”
Blackwell was one of 16 jockeys on Wednesday’s course, which included workshops on diet, mental wellbeing and the Jets jockey retraining scheme. He added: “It goes without saying what a good job the British Racing School and Northern Racing College do, along with all the different groups. They help us so much and their intentions are to help and improve us.”
Feedback from the jockeys will be taken on board by the BHA in the future, according to spokesman Joe Rendall.
"The BHA and BRS always aim for licensing and training courses to be as convenient as possible for attendees,” he said. “Any feedback from riders will be taken on board when reviewing future course dates."
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