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Farewell to the Korean Jockeys
On the 29th June we bid seven Korean Jockeys farewell and sent them off with some mementoes from the BRS.
They had been with us for 8 weeks on an intensive jockey training course. On reflection these seven would be apprentices have achieved a lot in a short time, and gives further proof and back up (if that were needed) that intensive training really works.
When they arrived on 7th May 2012 their goals were to improve the way they rode (including horsemanship), to build their skills on the simulators and to become much fitter. Richard Perham, Senior Jockey Coach says "I am pleased and proud, as their coach, that all three of these goals, and more were accomplished".
The initial assessment on the BRS horses showed that they all rode to a safe level, although one of the first points that I picked up on was their struggle to settle the BRS horses. This was a lot to do with how the riders had been taught and how the horses in Korea are ridden, which is to ride with very tight and short reins. This style of riding does not compliment European trained horses who like to be given freedom to settle. It wasn't long into the programme that the riders started to gain trust in what I was asking them to do, and with that trust came some good results; more control and in a more settled way. Another goal with their riding was to teach them to jump safely and effectively from starting stalls. Perham comments on this "I can say that, during the first weeks training, I was not sure that this goal would have been met, but in the end, not only did they do it but they did it well! They were proving to be effective working in groups of 2 or 3 having jumped swiftly from the stalls."
The simulator training saw a transformation of skills, from riders who struggled to balance, and who had never used a stick before, to riding simulated races in the Korean Derby, against their homeland hero's.
One of the great transformations for all of the riders was the way that they improved their overall fitness levels. On their first assessment the group averaged 72%, which improved to a staggering 98%. Proof enough that, hard work and a good training structure works.
Feedback from The Korea Racing Authority proves positive and the BRS are looking forward to another intake in 2013.