60 Seconds with Callum Jones

Caitlin O'Sullivan
14 September 2020

Not many can say they kicked home a double on debut, or a treble a few weeks later! Apprentice jockey Callum Jones can however, following a cracking start to his riding career.

We caught up with the 18-year-old to learn a little about his journey into the saddle, his ambitions as a jockey and a seriously cruel prank call involving the one and only Melody Belle…

What inspired you to take out your jockey’s license?  

I attended the races with a family friend and he mentioned light heartedly that I was the right build to be a jockey, so I thought why not! I got in touch with Nigel Tiley and he helped me start my journey from there.

Who do you look up to in racing?  

Nigel Tiley has been a huge influence on my riding career as he has moulded me from day one and really taught me the ropes. Now going forward, I look up to jockeys like Craig Grylls as he has really helped me out in the jockeys’ room and I admire his riding style.

Favorite horse?  

Diogenes aka ‘Frank”. He is a bit of a character in the stables and can be a bit of a handful! But I get on with him well and it was even better that I rode my first winner on him.

Callum winning his first race aboard Diogenes at Pukekohe Park. Photo: Trish Dunell

Biggest thrill to date in racing?   

Having 3 winners at Avondale aboard 3 of Nigel Tiley’s horses Now is Now, Macushla and Lupelani.

What do you hope to achieve during your career as a jockey?  

I hope that I will get the opportunity to ride in some big international races, and that I will become a respected senior jockey with hopefully a premiership under my belt!

What race would you love to win?  

I would love to win the Karaka Million in a few years’ time.

If you could ride any racehorse, living or dead, who would you choose? 

Melody Belle, there’s a bit of an inside joke about it at work after someone prank called me offering me the ride on her when I was still a probationer!

When you're not kicking home winners, how do you like to spend your time? 

I love surfing, going fishing and spending time with my mates.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received since entering the industry?  

When I was learning to ride, we focused on my technique and how important it is, and to always listen!

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