APPLICATIONS for places on a new Jockey Preparation Course at the Racing Academy in Kildare close very soon. The 12-week programme starts on Monday, June 17th.

The course was trialled last year and five of the seven individuals who signed up have since got a licence and ridden on the track.

Heather Downey of Horse Racing Ireland’s equuip division said: “The aim of the course is to produce graduates who are capable of gaining a jockey’s licence during or following the completion of the 12-week programme.

“The programme will prepare students for a career as a jockey by providing them with training in the areas of coaching, raceday procedures, fitness, medical, nutrition and personal development.

“Alongside this, students will receive education in the fundamental care and management of the thoroughbred racehorse and the rules and regulations of horseracing that a jockey will be expected to understand.”

The programme will be delivered by an initial six-week training block at RACE, followed by phase two, a six-week work-based training block with a racehorse trainer.

Following the initial training block, the student will be required to attend continual progression training days delivered at RACE during phase two of the programme.

Applicants must be aged 15 or older. The course is fully funded by Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board and equuip.