Who is Jessica Cooley?
According to the Racing Post, Jessica Cooley is a licenced apprentice and conditional jockey. Over the last 2 years, Jessica has amounted 8 winners and 14 placings, having only had a handful of good rides. She is a wonderful role model to younger jockey hopefuls. You can find Jessica on twitter @JessicaCooley07.
What got you interested in horse racing?
Well, I’ve always been in with horses and always wanted to be a jockey. I was so keen to turn 16 so I could just go to the racing school and start. My dad always has watched racing but other than that, I just took an interest myself.
How did you start of your career and how did that transpire?
I started at the British Racing School like most, my first job in racing was for Ed Dunlop where I learn a lot, gained lots of experience riding work and yearlings. Then I went on to Alan Bailey’s where I got my amateur licence, he was brilliant to work for, I had a lot of opportunities for him and rode 7 winners from 40 rides as an amateur. I then went on to Chris Dwyer’s to work towards my apprentice licence. Due to a lack of horses currently, now I have started at George Scott’s, a young expanding trainer and looking forward to riding winners for him!
What are you views on the female representation in the horse racing industry as a whole?
I think the female riders are setting a high standard and are proving they can ride just as well as the boys. They are proving they can ride just as well as the boys. They are proving great role models and are also helpful to us younger/inexperienced girls. I think the silk series has been a great initiative for female riders and gives the girls a chance to ride for different trainers and build more connections.
Can you briefly explain what an apprentice jockey is, in comparison to a professional, for those that don’t know?
An apprentice is someone ‘climbing the ladder’. You have to work your way up which comes with experience and working hard for your trainer. Once you get noticed other trainers/owners take notice and once you get the ball rolling you expand as a rider and confidence grows. A professional is already established where as an apprentice is working towards that mark.
Any horses from Chris Dwyer’s yard to watch out for this season and next?
Phoenix Star- he is a very progressive 2 year old with a bright future ahead. First time out he came on from the run, learnt a lot, and came out his second run winning his novice race. One to look forward too.
About ‘Phoenix Star’:
- 2yr old Bay Colt
- Dam: Volcanic Lady (IRE)
- Sire: Alhebayeb (IRE)
- Trained by Chris Dwyer & Owned by Flying High Syndicate
- Winner 2nd time out over 5F at Yarmouth
- No future entries to note
I thank Jessica very much for taking the time out of her schedule to talk to me. She’s such a polite and friendly lady, any owner/trainer would be lucky to have her ride for them.
We all wish her the best of luck for the rest of this season and for many more seasons to come.