The first step on the professional ladder is to become an Apprentice or Conditional Jockey depending on whether the Jockey rides on the flat or over jumps.
All Apprentices and Conditionals start off with a 7lb claim which is reduced down once they achieve a certain number of wins:
– until they have 20 wins (Apprentice)
– until they have 20 wins (Conditional)
– until they have 50 wins (Apprentice)
– until they have 40 wins (Conditional)
– until they have 95 wins (Apprentice)
– until they have 75 wins (Conditional)
The British Racing School run Licence, Continuation and Advanced Courses for both Apprentice and Conditional Jockeys. Please see the Jockey Courses section for more information.
Amateur Jockeys are not jockeys by profession and are restricted to riding with other amateurs once they have obtained their Catagory A Licence.
Amateur Jump Jockeys can obtain a Catagory B licence which allows them to ride against both Amatuer and Professional Jockeys. The British Racing School provide training and licence courses for Amateurs, for more information please see Amateur Courses.
You will need to be committed, dedicated, highly motivated and a very good rider with good horsemanship skills.
You will also need to be light. Flat Jockeys are usually around 8 stone with Jump Jockeys weighing slightly more at around 9st 7lbs. Jockeys are professional athletes and to be one you will need to be extremely fit and healthy.
A riding fee as well as a percentage of the prize money, some Jockeys also manage to secure sponsorship deals.
Andrea Atzeni comes from Sardina where he started riding as a child, his family were not in the racing industry so at the age of 15 he moved to mainland Italy and started to work for a racehorse trainer. He remained there for 2 years before moving to the UK and coming to The BRS to complete his Apprenticeship in Racehorse Care in 2007.
Andrea then went on to work for Racehorse Trainer Marco Botti in Newmarket who quickly saw his potential and applied for his Apprentice Jockey’s licence. This saw Andrea return to The BRS for his Apprentice Licence Course in 2008 and his rode his first winner that July.
His first taste big winner was on Darley Sun in the 2009 Cesarewitch Handicap but he had to wait until 2012 to enjoy his first Group 1 success, back on his home turf in Rome.
2013 was his real breakthrough year, as he became stable jockey to Newmarket trainer Roger Varian and had his first British Group 1 win.