British Horseracing has sought the expertise of Yogi Breisner, Performance Manager for the Gold Medal-winning World Equestrian Games Eventing Team, to provide a nationally recognised training qualification for Jockey Coaches.
Having commenced in September 2010, this qualification is the first of its kind for those developing the talents of Racing’s future stars, and accreditation will be given for the coaching skills gained as a result.
Over the next seven months, the Coaches will follow a series of regular workshops and assessments across the country, enabling them to develop and hone their coaching skills and expertise, ultimately being rewarded with their UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC).
Highlighting the desirable nature of such a qualification, names of those currently participating in the training programme include Grand National-winning jockeys Graham Lee and Mick Fitzgerald, Classic-winning jockey John Reid, and Professional Jockeys’ Association Chief Executive Kevin Darley.
Organised by the British Horseracing Authority’s Industry Recruitment and Training team, the long-term aspiration of the project is to underpin the jockey education system within British Horseracing with a group of highly skilled and trained coaches, providing integral support to aspiring jockeys. The initiative follows a programme of developments in jockey education, covering the wider issues of working as a professional athlete.
Breisner, who led Britain’s Eventing team to Gold in the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last week, will work with the Coaches throughout the programme.
He said: “It is a great honour for me to be involved, and developing the UKCC qualification within Racing is something that the whole racing industry will eventually benefit from. The interest shown, and the calibre of the candidates, will ensure that the coaching delivered will be of the highest quality.”
British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Nic Coward added: “This is a significant development for the sport, and can only further enhance the standard of race riding on our racecourses. It’s a real pleasure to see the calibre of jockeys that are becoming involved in the initiative and I’m sure that all of them will be a huge inspiration to all those that benefit from their experience and passion for horse racing.”
Kevin Darley, Professional Jockeys Association Chief Executive, said: “The UKCC Jockey Coach qualification is an excellent step for the racing industry. Not only will it ensure that a professional and consistent level of coaching is delivered to our up and coming sportsmen and women, it also provides a great opportunity for ex-jockeys and senior jockeys to develop their own skills, offering them further career opportunities.”