New apprentice jockeys start their first day at Racing Victoria

Six female and four male aspiring riders will today be inducted into Racing Victoria’s (RV) Apprentice Jockey Training Program (AJTP), all aiming to become the next stars of the saddle. 

The ten budding hoops include three teenagers whose fathers are Group 1-winning jockeys: Jaden Lloyd, whose father Jeff has dominated Queensland’s racing circuit for the past two decades; Will Price, whose dad Simon will ride South Australian raider Balf’s Choice in the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington this Saturday; and Campbell Rawiller, whose father Nash and uncle Brad have won multiple races at the elite level.  

Lloyd, who at 17 is the youngest of the trio, will be indentured to the Lindsay Park stable at Flemington; 19-year-old Price will start his apprenticeship under the watchful eye of his uncle, Ballarat-based trainer Dan O’Sullivan; and Mornington horseman Logan McGill will take Rawiller, 18, under his wing.

The trio will be joined in the AJTP by seven other apprentices who will also aim to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Craig Williams, Beau Mertens, Ben Allen and Steph Thornton, who have all graduated from the elite program.

Laura Lafferty, 20, will combine her university studies with her apprenticeship with esteemed Cranbourne trainer, Mick Kent. The keen athlete, who regularly competes in domestic triathlon competitions, comes from a racing background, with Dad Peter a former jockey and her grandfather Kevin – who has a hurdle race named after him at Warrnambool – a renowned trainer.        

Carleen Hefel, 29, has been riding trackwork and in trials and jump outs for several years, and will now begin her apprenticeship in Pakenham under trainer Julien Welsh.

In addition to Rawiller, three other apprentices will also be based at stables in Mornington: Kiran Quilty (Shane Nichols), Celine Gaudry (Pat Carey) and Matthew Cartwright (Lyn Tolson). 

Cartwright is the youngest of the ten new recruits, but the 16-year-old comes from sound racing bloodlines with his father Rikki an accomplished jockey, and his grandmother (Tolson) running a small stable on the peninsula. 

Similarly, Quilty’s father, Cameron, recorded more than 200 career victories in the saddle, and his 18-year-old daughter has already showed some riding prowess with a number of equestrian awards to her name. 

Kayla Atkinson, an 18-year-old who will commence her apprenticeship with her mother, Kilmore trainer Alicia Macpherson, and 25-year-old Emily Brown, who will be based at Matthew Williams’ stables in Warrnambool, round out the class of 2019 who will spend the next four years honing their race riding skills under RV Apprentice Jockey Coaches Darren Gauci and Matt Pumpa. 

The new intake will also receive specialist guidance from an expert team of physical trainers, nutritionists, physiotherapists and sports psychologists, who will give them the best possible chance of reaching the top of the jockey ranks.

“The first day of the jockey program is always an exciting one for the new apprentices and their families, as they embark on a journey which we hope will lead to a successful career in the saddle,” said Greg Carpenter, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing.

“Over the next four years, these ten aspiring young riders will learn every facet of what it takes to become an elite jockey in one of the country’s most competitive sporting environments.  

“It is again heartening to see a large percentage of female riders joining the AJTP, this continues the trend we have seen in recent years and I’m sure the success achieved by Michelle Payne, Steph Thornton and most recently by Jamie Kah since she moved to Melbourne will inspire even more young girls to enrol in the program.”

The full list of apprentices joining the AJTP and their trainers is as follows:

Laura Lafferty (Michael Kent)
Carleen Hefel (Julien Welsh)
Kiran Quilty (Shane Nichols)
Celine Gaudry (Pat Carey)
Campbell Rawiller (Logan McGill)
Will Price (Dan O’Sullivan)
Kayla Atkinson (Alicia Macpherson)
Emily Brown (Matthew Williams)
Jaden Lloyd (Team Hayes)
Matthew Cartwright (Lyn Tolson)