Life as a Jockey in Newmarket

Newmarket town situated in Suffolk has been the headquarters of flat racing since the 1660's. It has two racecourses, the Rowley mile used for spring and autumn meetings, and the July course where Summer meetings are held. The most important classic races in Newmarket are the 2,000 guineas and the 1,000 guineas held at the Rowley mile in early May. It has over 70 racing yards and miles after miles of gallops. One of the world's most famous jockeys Lester Piggott was born in Newmarket in 1935, started racing in 1947 with his first win at the age of 12. When he retired in 1994 he had a career tally in Britain of 4,493 winners.

Life as a stable lad

Being a stable lad begins with hard work, it's a full week of 6 days one week and 7 days the next and an early start to every morning of 5-5.30am depending on the size of the racing yard. Firstly you will see how many lots you have to ride and which horses you are riding, then tack up. Before you ride out you will usually have to muck out your first lot depending on if you have a yard man, who will do all the ground work in the yard as well as putting on rugs and sweeping the yards.

Each horse is only ridden out once a day and only up to 1 hour. When every one is tacked up and ready to go they will all ride out together as a string on the heath where there are tracks marked out for the horses to exercise.

When returning you will water hay and feed your horse, tack up your next lot and this will be repeated until you finish for the morning at around 12-12.30pm where you will then have the afternoon off and start back in work at 4pm-6pm. In the evenings you will start by skipping out the horses that you rode out then grooming them and watering, haying, and feeding. Putting on their night rugs sweeping yards and locking up. All this includes other little jobs like washing water buckets, washing stable windows, cleaning tack, plus going racing and making your horse presentable. Leading up is hard work and can be very dangerous as racehorses can be very temperamental.

Liz Bernie's daughter(Bernie runs an art class at Caswell)