Celebrating our jumps jockeys

LOVERACING.NZ
1 August 2020

KNOTTINGLY FARM JUMPS JOCKEY COMPETITION LEADERBOARD

Shaun Fannin          48

Aaron Kuru             34

Emily Farr                29

Reece Cole             21

Buddy Lammas       16

Dean Parker            15

Ryan Elliot               14

James Seivwright   13

Sam O'Malley           10

Michael Roustoby      9

Kayla Macnab           9

Hamish McNeill          9

Elan Nicholas           6

Timothy Johnson       6

Isaac Lupton              5

Stephan Karnicnik     5

Lemmy Douglas        4

Michael Gibbs-Manssen  3

Charlie Studd             3

Shaun Phelan         1

 
Hamish McNeill
 
 
What is your background in horses?
I've been around horses my whole life. My Grandad bred and owned race horses so from a very early age I was always riding ponies, moving onto horses when I was about 12. From as young as I can remember, all I wanted to be was a jockey. I began riding track work for a couple of the local trainers during the weekends while I was still at school, mainly Ian Jardine.

During the summer of 2013, I was sent down to New Market by my boss’ partner Peter Scudamore to work for Sir Michael Stoute to gain more experience. Whilst there, I met Derek Nolan and I was fascinated by the concept of travelling the other side of the world to see what racing was like. Six months later I got a phone call from him telling me he had a job lined up for me. So I booked my flights and was in New Zealand by 8th December that year where I began working for Shaun and Emma Clotworthy and the rest is history.

How did you get into jumps racing?
I was born into it with my Grandad breeding and owning, and my cousin Campbell Gillies was also a jumps jockey. When I left school at 16, I began working for National Hunt trainer Lucinda Russell. I had a handful of point to point rides from the age of 16 to 18, riding one winner on a horse called See You There

What has been your most memorable moment on a racecourse to date? (good or bad)
Would definitely have to be Grand National week of 2017. First of all winning the Sydenham Hurdle on Go Go Gonzo, then two days later winning the National Hurdle on Ready Eddie for Laura Knight and Stephen Nichalls. It was my first ever ride in the race, on top of that I had won on Go Go Gonzo two days prior. I was already committed to ride for Stephen and Laura as they had supported me through the whole season and to me loyalty is a big thing, so to win it for them was personally a very big deal being able to repay them.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My cousin Campbell for sure has been my biggest influence, he was a jumps jockey back in Scotland and my absolute idol. He passed away 8 years ago, so he is definitely the reason I am where I am today.

Best horse you’ve ridden?
Would probably be a horse called One For Arthur who won the 2017 Grand National for my old boss Lucinda Russell. Giving her and the Jockey Derek Fox their first win in the race respectively. 
 
Best win to date? 2017 Grand National Hurdle on Ready Eddie, he wasn't the most well bred horse going around at the time but he definitely made up for it with this jumping ability and heart. He was very economical through his hurdles and wouldn't waste any energy, he was just such a genuine horse.

Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over?
Far too many to pick from but top three would be;Big BucksKauto StarRed Rum.

One or two horses you are most excited about riding this season?
Tommyra for Toby Autridge, he would definitely have to be one of the nicest jumpers I’ve sat on.

In order to be raceday fit and the right weight, what does your training schedule look like?
That's a secret.

Favourite racecourse and why?
Hurdle track would have to be Riccarton. Steeplechase track definitely Ellerslie as the fences are just so inviting.

Do you have any race day superstitions?
There is a song that was written about my cousin which I listen to every race day morning. I also have my cousin’s seatsavers with his initials on my saddles.

If you weren’t a jumps jockey, what would you be doing?
It would definitely still be something within racing, there's nothing else I’ve ever wanted to do. It's a paid hobby.

Your biggest pet hate?
Can't say I have one.

Best or worst dressed jumps jockey?
Best would definitely have to be Aaron Kuru, and worst...they know who they are.

Who’s your sporting hero?
Of course it has to be AP McCoy, that's a no brainer.

Finish this sentence : Jumps Racing is …….
the best drug known to man.

 

Michael Roustoby

What is your background in horses?
We start young in Australia, having a dollar each way on the Melbourne Cup from the age of five. My parents put the bets on and we had sweepstakes at school. We also went to the races sometimes and got to pick three horses for the day to put $1 each way on. My first-ever pick was Let's Elope in the 1991 Melbourne cup and I got close to $5 which was a fortune for a five-year-old. (Lollies were one cent each back in those days). My brother Adam and I were obsessed with jockeys after going to the races. We got replica jockey whips with winnings at the races and used to ride our rocking horse or perch on the side of the lounge and hit it with the stick. I would have loved to have been a jockey, but I was over 50kgs at 13 or 14. My brother Adam discovered jump racing when we were 14. We decided we were going to pursue that, (I still hadn't ridden a horse at this stage) and I just went along with it. Once we started riding at 18 I decided I would never be good enough to ride over a jump as rising to the trot was really difficult. My new dream was to be able to ride trackwork for a living, so we attended Richmond Tafe in New South Wales and completed Certificate 2 Stablehand and Certificate Trackrider.

Adam and I then both volunteered to work for Eric Musgrove for free for two weeks so we had something on our CV to get a job at Randwick. We ended up getting paid and staying at Eric’s for two months. We then came back to Sydney and once again volunteered to ride work at David Payne’s for a couple of months (never earnt a cent but the experience was valuable) which landed us a paid job with Gai Waterhouse. Mainly warming up and cooling horses down for the jockeys, getting the odd spin round the track cantering and eventually working our way up to riding gallops and attending the Melbourne Spring Carnival. Roger James then offered me a job, so I decided to come to have a look at New Zealand for three to six months. 13 and a half years later and I’m still here. Adam stayed in Australia, and has worked in England, Ireland, Tasmania and eventually found his way back to Gai Waterhouse’s Melbourne stable where he works and rides over jumps.

Our school teachers and even our parents told us we would never make it in the industry, and we had to finish school to have something to fall back on. Not the traditional route but got there in the end

How did you get into jumps racing?
While I was working for Roger James, I wanted to learn and ride more horses. Trudy Thornton and Jane Hunt who were riding at Roger’s told me Mrs Browne was looking for another rider and I should go out there during my lunch break. So I did. I loved the farm lifestyle and riding the jumpers up the hill. It was something different. Eventually, myself and my partner Jen Mcilroy decided to train a jumper. I thought I can't train a jumper and not be able to even school one myself, so I asked Michelle Strawbridge if she could teach me. I had never ridden over a jump before then. Michelle was brilliant, I had no idea but she explained it all to me in simple terms and gave me great advice. She put me on the right horses, watched me ride and gave pointers. ‘Work on this, try this, don’t do that’ etc. I doubted myself, I didn't think I was good enough and it wasn't until four years later when Jen and I had another horse I'd been schooling that went really good that I decided to get my licence.

What has been your most memorable moment on a racecourse to date? (good or bad)
All winners are great, but a horse trained by myself and my partner Jen McIlroy ‘Shakeitup’ winning a hurdle by 12 lengths at Ellerslie ridden by Shelley Houston was probably the most exciting. Racing is 98% disappointment so you learn to forget and move on from the bad days

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
I've learned from many people but my brother Adam and I learnt together and supported each other the whole way through and wouldn't have made it so far in the industry without each other.

Best horse you’ve ridden?
Woodsman and Aigne, they are jets. Mongolian Kahn trackwork. A tough quirky customer but a freakish stayer.

Best win to date?
Winning an Open hurdle on Aigne at Rotorua is my biggest win so far. I was lucky enough to ride him in the Jerico Cup in Australia too. Neil O'dowd was a great supporter and it's a shame he has retired from training.

Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over?
Hurricane Fly. Only Winx has won more at the top level and she never saw a hurdle

One or two horses you are most excited about riding this season?
Anything in the Te Akau tangerine.

In order to be raceday fit and the right weight, what does your training schedule look like?
Spend more time on the cross trainer, treadmill and mechanical horse than I do with my family.

Favourite racecourse and why?
Te Aroha hurdle track jumps are in a straight line and have a good run into all the fences. The horses generally jump well there.

Do you have any race day superstitions?
I'm not that arrogant that I think the undies I wear will have any influence on the day's events.

If you weren’t a jumps jockey, what would you be doing?
Riding trackwork still. I love it.

Your biggest pet hate?
People who are offended by everything. World's become way to P.C.

Best or worst dressed jumps jockey?
Pass. I have no idea when it comes to fashion.

Who’s your sporting hero?
AP McCoy. Cliche for jump jockeys to say but name a sportsman who has been champion at their game for 20 years in a row as well as breaking most of the bones in their body. Physical and mental toughness at its best

Finish this sentence: Jumps Racing is …….
the ultimate test of man and beast.

 

Reece Cole

What is your background in horses?

I come from a racing background. My Grandfather, Bill (Shotgun) Burke was a trainer, and my uncle, Kim Burke, was a flat and jumps jockey. I had a pony we used to get bucked off, and at 13 I got sent to Shaun and Emma Clotworthy’s and learnt to ride work there. They're the best family. I then went home and worked for Alan Johnson, Kenny Rae and Donna and Dean Logan. After I finished school, I moved to Bryerly Park to work for Shaun and Emma again. I then made the move to Matamata where I now ride track work, break-in and pre-train a few.

How did you get into jumps racing?
My family always had a jumper when I was little, my uncle rode over fences and he set me up with a move to Matamata.

What has been your most memorable moment on a racecourse to date? (good or bad)
Definitely having a share in Tommyra with my uncle, Toby Autritdge and the crew when he won the K S Browne hurdle last year with Shaun Phelan riding. Also, the Waikato Hunt Cup last year on Pythagoras as both myself and Jess Brosnan are members of the Waikato Hunt Club.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Definitely my uncle, and the Autridges since I moved to Matamata.

Best horse you’ve ridden?
Rising Romance. I took her to Australia twice winning the ATC Oaks and finishing second in the Caulfield Cup.

Best win to date?
Winning on a flooded day at Te Rapa by 15 lengths on Toby’s horse Le Bon Fin. Never got to see the best of him. 

Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over?
Definitely have to be Tallyho Twinkletoe or Regina Coeli.

One or two horses you are most excited about riding this season?
Ali Baba and Altius.

In order to be raceday fit and the right weight, what does your training schedule look like?
Not much food and a fair bit of exercise. Sweating is a constant.

Favourite racecourse and why?
Hastings, I rode my first winner there. It was my uncle’s first time back since breaking his neck and he was there to watch. It took a couple days to get home after that one.

Do you have any race day superstitions?
Not particularly. It is what it is and if it's going to happen then so be it.

If you weren’t a jumps jockey, what would you be doing?
I would be breaking in and pre-training like I am now.

Best or worst dressed jumps jockey?
Definitely one of the best would be James Seivwright, he is a neat freak so he always looks slick.

Who’s your sporting hero?
AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh. What they achieved in jumps racing will be hard to come close to.

Finish this sentence: Jumps Racing is …….
the greatest thrill, all the time and effort that goes into jumpers makes winning all the more special.

Lemmy Douglas

What is your background in horses?
I literally came from nothing to do with horses, I had never even been face to face with a horse until I was 21. I didn’t even know what a head collar was! I always loved watching the races and for a long time I wanted to be involved, I just had no idea how. Until I came across the British Racing School where I spent 10 weeks learning how to ride and I just fell in love with the game from the get go. I knew I had it in me and I just kept pushing myself, even when I kept falling off I got back on again and again until I got it right.

How did you get into jumps racing?
After my 10 week stint in New Market, I went to work for Paul Webber who definitely had his work cut out for him but he gave me every chance. I got to work closely with AP McCoy, James Best, Liam Treadwell and a few other of the jumps jockeys who all gave me tips and advice when schooling horses. I knew I wanted to ride the jumps, it was just such a thrill and after a couple years I ended up having a short stint riding under the rules of Arabian Racing for Delyth Thomas. He was an absolute delight and is amongst one of the best trainers in the industry, so I got to ride some really nice horses. I spent a lot of time in Lambourn where I held a conditional and an amateur license working for Roger Teal. He was great and they really look after you there, he definitely taught me a lot about my riding.

I eventually made my way to New Zealand where I worked for Ken Duncan for two seasons and he gave me the introduction into some real racing, giving me every ride he possibly could. Ken treated me like family and I couldn’t have asked for a better boss, he’s as tough as old boots but he’s fair in what he does.

Now I am currently in Cambridge working for Mark Brooks and continuing to improve. I’m schooling as many horses as possible with the goal to ride some big winners, and I still can’t believe five years ago I had never even sat on a horse. I’ve had the pleasure of riding in some of New Zealand’s biggest jumps races so I just need to win some now, you could say I’ve come a long way but still a long way to go. All I can do is improve, but the support I’ve received has been amazing from trainers and owners.

What has been your most memorable moment on a racecourse to date? (good or bad)
Being there to watch my good friend Buddy Lammas win two Grand Nationals for the Ken Duncan stable. Being a part of that team was a thrill.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Buddy Lammas has been my mentor and very good friend since moving to New Zealand, I cannot thank him enough. He’s been there supporting me through all the highs and lows, keeping me going and educating me every step of the way.

Best horse you’ve ridden?
Hesalljazz for Stephen Ralph, it was my first New Zealand winner back in 2018 and he’s still my champion.

Best win to date? 
Hesalljazz in the Maramarua Hunt hurdle was an absolute thrill of a race.

Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over?
Would have to be Tiger Roll trained by Gordon Elliot.

One or two horses you are most excited about riding this season?
There are a couple of young ones coming up, such as Brawler for Clinton Isdale who won a jump trial at Cambridge really well. I’m mainly excited to see Hesalljazz try to take on the steeplechase fences this year.

In order to be raceday fit and the right weight, what does your training schedule look like?
I do a lot of cycling and running. I also have a personal trainer I see once a week for strength training, but nothing too crazy.

Favourite racecourse and why?
Riccarton, I just love the steeplechase fences there. It's a big track and every fence is inviting.

Do you have any race day superstitions?
I have to bang the top of my helmet before leaving the parade ring. I don’t know why, I just do it for good luck or something. Or maybe just to make sure I’ve got it on.

If you weren’t a jumps jockey, what would you be doing?
I’d be a food hygiene specialist, that was always the plan following the catering route.

Your biggest pet hate?
I’m pretty easy going so can’t say that I have one.

Best or worst dressed jumps jockey?
Best dressed would have to be Hamish McNeil, that tweed suit is outstanding. For the girls, Emily Farr wins that every time. I don’t know who would be the worst dressed, the lads scrub up well enough when we need to. Although a couple of the lads could sharpen up though.

Who’s your sporting hero?
Would always go with AP McCoy, but Davy Russell would be the second choice.

Finish this sentence: Jumps Racing is …….
The biggest thrill I’ve ever experienced, it’s a buzz like no other, the good the bad and the excitement before every race is really something else.


James Seivwright

 

What is your background in horses?
As a young kid, I wasn’t the biggest fan of horses, it wasn’t until my dad retired from the army and got a job in Ireland as a stud manager that I really took an interest. Soon enough, I couldn't be kept away from horses. I got a little 14hh cob pony, it used to stop a lot in the early days so I learnt about keeping my leg on early.

I then got into pony racing when I was about 14. The ponies range from 12 to 14 hands high and race small 800m rope and fence post tracks in a paddock, right up to 2 miles. It’s a great way for young jockeys to get experience before taking out a license as an apprentice.

I then progressed to riding as an amateur in England where I rode a couple of winners in point to points before moving to Australia to ride work. Eventually finding my way here to New Zealand.

How did you get into jumps racing?
I really wanted to be a flat jockey, but being six feet tall I was never going to make the weight, so I thought jumping was the go. Luckily I love it too. I was working for Chris Waller, and Lee Magorrian who was the apprentice there at the time told me they needed more jump jockeys in New Zealand. My visa was not far off running out so I thought why not have another go at riding over jumps while I'm still young enough instead of going back to the UK. Lee sorted a job for me with Shaun and Emma Clotworthy who have always been great. I was only going to come for one season, I’m now finishing my 4th!

What has been your most memorable moment on a racecourse to date? (good or bad)
Riding Thenamesbond to win the Waikato Hunt Cup at Te Aroha was a good moment, we led and he pulled the whole way. I was glad when we crossed the line! Bad would have been breaking my collarbone at the last hurdle at Christchurch last year, I was out for the rest of the season from it!

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
I don't really have one, I’ve always just done things to be happy.

Best horse you’ve ridden?
I rode Preferment when I worked for Chris Waller, he was a beast. I also rode the grand national winner Many Clouds once when I worked for Oliver Sherwood in England, he was such a gentleman of a horse. Big Opal would be the best jumper I’ve ridden here in New Zealand.

Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over?
Istabraq, he was trained by Aidan O’Brien and won 3 champion hurdles. He was some horse.

One or two horses you are most excited about riding this season?
The Arabian Duke is looking like one to watch, he flew around the steeplechase at Cambridge trials last week.

In order to be raceday fit and the right weight, what does your training schedule look like?
A ridiculous amount of cardio and not a whole lot to eat. If only I wasn’t so tall!

Favourite racecourse and why?
Riverton steeplechase course, it’s so much fun and they’re decent-sized fences too.

Do you have any race day superstitions?
I used to but not anymore, I realised it doesn’t change anything.

If you weren’t a jumps jockey, what would you be doing?
Definitely something in racing, probably breaking-in horses full time. I currently work for Sam Beatson at Riversley Park and really enjoy breaking in yearlings.

Your biggest pet hate?
I wouldn’t say it’s a pet hate but I’m a really tidy person, I hate mess.

Best or worst dressed jumps jockey?
Hamish McNeil has a tweed suit he wears for the big race days, it’s pretty fly. I don’t want to make any enemies by saying who dresses the worst, but someone does wear ‘sneans’ (sneaker and jeans combination) a lot though.

Who’s your sporting hero?
AP McCoy, he is the ultimate jumps jockey. Nobody will be in his league for a very long time.

Finish this sentence: Jumps Racing is…….
The most exhilarating thing to do on a horse.

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