Willing and 'Able'

Friday, February 23, 2018

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Abigail Able doesn't want to get too far ahead of herself, but the young exercise rider is still celebrating as she moves one step closer to the realisation of her dream of becoming a racehorse jockey.

The 21-year-old Able and two other females, Samantha Fletcher and Tamicka Lawrence, were among 21 exercise riders selected by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) to participate in the jockeys' training programme which started on February 12, 2018.

On January 10, 2018, the exercise riders were given a chance to demonstrate their skills in what was dubbed 'the gate test', organised by the JRC. The operations stewards of the JRC subsequently made an assessment of the young riders, who were then required to do medicals and a riding test, following which the final selction for enrolment was done.

“Well, to be honest, it was after the last batch of apprentices graduated in 2015 that I decided to take up the towel and started learning how to ride horses. I am also inspired by the females in the game as they match strides with the males in the industry.

“To be selected to attend the jockeys' programme is another step in accomplishing my dream of becoming a racehorse jockey. This is a major stepping stone in the right direction. It is a dream come true for me; I am overjoyed…I couldn't have felt happier and I am going to make the best use of this opportunity,” Able declared.

Although she had originally considered becoming a nurse, Able believes that her new career choice is one that will lead to success. “I wanted to become a nurse, but changed my mind right after I fell in love with the sport and the horses. I have the right height, I am very light, and my weight is just right.

“As you know, [some] women are always trying to do a man's job, and I am going to get a man's job done. Yeah, you can expect me to do that... win a lot of races and make a name for myself,” affirmed the Waterford High School graduate.

Able, Fletcher and Lawrence will now have the chance to compete against the recently returned Georgina Sergeon, the country's most successful female jockey, who has so far ridden 59 winners, and Melissa Ward, Natalie Berger and Andree Powell are of more recent vintage.

The other exercise riders are: Anthony Allen, Jordan Barrett, Carlos Blake Jr, Jawani Forbes, Tevin Foster, Gordon Gregory, Roger Hewitt, Reyan Lewis, Christopher Mamdeen, Kiaman McGregor, Jervis Mills, Shane Richardson, Raddesh Roman, Daniel Satchell, Romario Smith, Romario Spencer, Daniel Thompson, and Shavon Townsend.

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