2018 Jockey Skills Training Course Report by Katie Donlon

2018 has been a busy year full of Irish Pony Club activities.  One of the highlights of the calendar for ten lucky applicants is the Jockey Skills Training Course at RACE.

On Friday and Saturday, September 7th and 8th, ten Irish Pony Club members travelled to RACE in the Curragh to participate in the Jockey Skills Training Course, Leah Rumble, Tipperary Hunt Branch, Tom Hayden, Tipperary Hunt Branch, Erin Dunseath, Wexford Hunt Branch, Elizabeth Wallace, Co. Limerick Hunt Branch, Lauren Doyle, Laois Hunt Branch, Patrick Sheeran, Laois Hunt Branch, Katie Donlon, Westmeath Hunt Branch, Niamh Flinter, Kildare Hunt Branch, Aoibhe Long, Meath Hunt Branch and Kate Mulligan, Galway Mid County Branch.

As we approach the final presentation for the 2018 Jockey Skills Training Course participants at Naas Raacecourse on Sunday 30th, Katie Donlon from Westmeath Hunt Branch has written an excellent report reflecting on her experience at RACE.

"For someone who had no experience of racing and race horses whatsoever I found the Jockey Skills course at RACE excellent.  On arrival I was given my name badge and shown to my room.  Ehe room and shower facilities were excellent.  The canteen offered a great variety of food with information on a balanced diet.  At RACE all the staff were very friendly and helpful.  Over the two days I got to try lots of new things and I learned a lot.  The first thing we got to do was ride one of the thoroughbreds in the indoor arena and we were coached by the instructors.  This was a good opportunity to get used to the horses and the racing saddles before going out on the gallops.  Next we went on the racing simulators where we were coached on our positions on the horses and this was great fun.  We also got to have a PE session in the gym which gave us an idea of the level of fitness needed to be a jockey.  After going out on the gallops we got to see a video of ourselves out on the gallops and we were given feedback by one of the coaches.  I also learned a lot about how to eat well at the nutritional session.  Overall I really enjoyed the skills course at RACE and I would recommend it to anyone considering becoming a jockey.  I would like to thank all involved for afforded me the experience."

Thank you to Katie, for submitting this report.  Well done!  Congratulations to all of the particpants who completed the course.  The staff at RACE reported that the group were a pleasure to host and they represented themselves, their families and the Irish Pony Club exceptionally well.  Have a great day at Naas Racecourse on Sunday. 

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