Article taken from Soldier Magazine.
Service jockeys benefit from expert coaching ahead of prestigious military race meetings.
Steeped in rich history, the Royal Artilery and Grand Millitary Gold Cups server as the pinnacles of horse racing for the Armed Forces’ amateur jockeys.
Staged at Sandown Park, the races are the exclusive realm of Service personnel and are set withing meetings that feature some of the sports top riders, trainers and owners.
The events attract a huge following – both at the track and from punters watching afar – and those involved in the action revel in a spotlight they would not usually enjoy.
Preparation for this year’s fixtures have swiftly gathered pace and Army jockeys descended on the country’s premier training facilities for some expert tuition that could potentially lead to a gallop for victory as the finish line looms.
Hosted by The British Racing School in Newmarket, the personnel were guided by senior jockey Coach Richard Perham, who offered technical advice at the sites indoor school before the action switched to the jumps. “This is the very best in terms of tuition,” Lt Col Erica Bridge (RA), the military’s lead on jockey development and training, told SoldierSport. “Richard Perham was a professional jockey and it is great to have someone of that standing to look at what we are doing and help us improve. Military racing has had its ups and downs but we are now at the stage where we have a strong group of riders who are doing well. That is all down to the time and effort they have put it,. There are a lot of professional riding coaches out there and our guys go to them as they want to get better. This mirrors that approach and the British Racing School have been a massive support.”