A group of 11 apprentices from Qatar are currently being host- ed by the South African Jockey Academy in KwaZulu-Natal. They will be spending 10 weeks at the academy based in the rolling hills of Shongweni.
The 11 apprentices are: Abdullah Hozam, Abdullah Mubarak, Abdullah Rashid, Abdullah Saleh, Khaled Alkuari, Khaled Ali, Metab Ali, Mohammed Rashid, Saleh Hamad and Saleh Salem. They are all from the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club in Doha, Qatar and are in South Africa to receive training to improve their horsemanship and riding skills.
Work riding at both the Ashburton and Summerveld training centres has been very much a part of their training.
The South African Jockey Academy (SAJA) is internationally recognised as one of the best in the world and they were selected by the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club to train potential Qatari apprentices.
This is a huge feather in the South African Jockey Academy’s cap and testament to their highly qualified staff.
Qatar has not yet established a jockey academy but would like to train Qatari Jockeys through participation in the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), of which the South African Academy is a member. A partnership has been formed between Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club and the SAJA that will see potential Qatar apprentices being trained by SAJA.
Their riding skills will be on display at Scottsville on Sunday when 10 of them will compete in a specially put together race, Race 10, over 1200m.
At this stage form studiers have no idea who the more prominent riders in the group might be but it appears the form horses will be ridden by Saleh Salem (Freddie Flint), Abdullah Mubarak (Luckdragon) and Abdullah Hozam (Simply Scrumptious).
Academy headmaster Graham Bailey said: “The fact that the Qatar Racing And Equestrian Club see our training of a high standard makes me very proud of the staff here, and I believe our holistic approach to jockey training is being recognised.”
Not so long ago the Academies nursing sister Debbie Bu was requested to go over to the British Riding School to share ideas about the academies multi-disciplinary programme, as they wish to follow suit.
Bailey mentioned that it was a collective effort from all the departments at the Academy in steering this institution towards getting the academy to where he wanted it to be both locally and internationally. – Gold Circle