Abigail Able continues to break barriers
Signs sponsorship deal with Bearings and Accessories Limited
With sparkling eyes and a bright smile on her face, Abigail Able expressed gratitude at being the first female jockey to sign a brand agreement deal.
Able signed a landmark one-year brand ambassador agreement with Bearings and Accessories Limited on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 as she continues to break barriers in Jamaica’s male-dominated sport of horse racing.
The contract was signed at the head office of Bearings and Accessories Limited, located at 83 Harbour Street in downtown Kingston.
Able will represent Bearings and Accessories Limited’s Q-8 band of industrial oil, which is primarily intended for industrial use with heavy machinery such as trucks.
Raymond ‘’Mitta’’ Rousseau, chairman of Bearings and Accessories, stated that Able’s knowledge and approach to horses were essential in signing her to his company.
“Well, she is a female, and as I said in a male-dominated sport, it is a bit of a novelty. But it is not just the fact that she is a female, Abigail has very good work habits. Abigail has a really good understanding of horses, that recommendation has come from her trainer, who she works with most right now, Jason DaCosta, and before that, Jason’s father Wayne.
“They both told me, and I have seen how she handles herself around the horses when she wins. Her demeanour, she is not a braggadocios individual, and I like that, so there’s a lot there for me to be encouraged about why I would want to have her as a representative of my company,” Rousseau told the Jamaica Observer’s The Supreme Racing Guide.
Able expressed her joy when Bearings and Accessories Limited invited her to be their brand ambassador for Q-8 Oil.
“I am feeling really grateful to be a brand ambassador for Q-8 Oils. I mean, this is another achievement in my career, and I am so happy that they chose me to represent their company,” Able said.
“I am going to see how best I can promote their brand and, at the same time, achieve more in my profession by riding more winners. I think I have improved a lot in my profession, but there’s always more room for improvement.
“With this company supporting me, this has given me the extra push that I need, and I will continue to do the hard work necessary for success. Not just for me, but for Q-8 Oil,” Able said.
Able, who started her career on September 29, 2018, has so far ridden 19 winners. She won her first race on June 29, 2019, aboard England’s Rose for the late trainer Wayne DaCosta.
From there, she gradually grew in confidence to the point where a number of top trainers have entrusted her with some of their best horses which she has done very well with.
Able stated that her goal now is to gain more rides and, ideally, win more races in order to establish herself in the male-dominated field of horse racing.
“My career could have been better, but it could also have been worse. But I’m satisfied with how my career has started, and I believe it is improving with time. I enjoy horses and horse racing. I’ve always wanted to get on a horse and compete in races,” Able explained.
“When I compare where I was to where I am now, I think I have made great progress by gaining confidence in my ability to complete each live ride assigned to me.
“Like everyone else, I want to win a lot of races, but first I need to obtain rides. It’s tough for me to obtain rides, but when I do, I make the most of them. Success requires hard effort, which I am all about.
“I am willing to go the extra mile and do the extra work,” she further said.
Able stated that the unique industry is similar to any other activity and demands devotion in both her professional and personal lives.
“Like any career, you spend time practising and preparing before starting. Being a female jockey is not an easy task, as it presents several hurdles. You must prove to everyone that you are as strong as the male cyclists.
“You must turn off your emotions and accept what you cannot alter. I enjoy the challenge because proving the doubters wrong is a huge reward,” she said.
While the agreement stated one year, Rousseau said that there is always the possibility of extending the contract.
“All the races Abigail has won — I mean, anytime she has been giving a winning mount, she delivered. I have not seen Abigail throw away a lot of races. I think if she is given the opportunity by the trainers out there to ride winners, she will bring them home.
“I am hoping that she can win at least 20 races this year; that would be nice, and if she gets the support, I think she will. And I expect Abigail is going to conduct herself in the manner that I have recognised, that I believe she is all about, and once she does that as an ambassador wearing our branded caps and shirts in the mornings and exercise branded caps when she is in the winners’ enclosure, and in any social media situation that comes up, she will represent and put the product out there, and she will promote the product as a brand behind her that pushes her.
“It is a one-year sponsorship initially, and we will see how it goes after the first year, and then by all means, if it is successful and we are both happy, then we can look towards extending it,” he stated.
Able now joins Reyan Lewis, Tevin Foster, Javaniel Patterson, Phillip Parchment, and Dane Dawkins as jockeys with brand deals.