Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 19°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: As Channel 4’s Jockey School reignites our passion for horse racing, we meet the Newmarket trainer who has battled her way to the top

10:00 27 April 2014

Newmarket: Amy Weaver –

Newmarket: Amy Weaver –

Archant

In her yard overlooking The Severals, Amy Weaver is walking around with a mobile phone stuck to her ear.

shares

She’s a busy woman.

“It’s been a pretty easy morning here for a change,” she says. “I’ve been riding out for another trainer and it’s a lovely morning. I don’t have to go out again,” she says.

It’s 10am and Amy has been up since 5.45am, looking after her horses and riding the gallops.

Amy is one of the town’s trainers and at 32 she’s already forged a niche for herself among the racing community.

She says: “I grew up in Cheltenham, which is great horsey country, but I didn’t ride until I was 13. I loved it and I have always been interested in racing. I remember watching racing on TV as a child, betting against myself with pennies. I’ve always loved the speed, the adrenalin and the spectacle.”

At 16 Amy enrolled on a nine-week stable staff course at the British Racing School – an experience not dissimilar to the Channel 4 show Jockey School.

Amy says: “I was mucking out, riding out, brushing and learning yard duties. It was the first step on the ladder. It was very hard work.”

After passing the course Amy got a job as an apprentice stable lass with a trainer in Wiltshire – a job that gave her valuable experience.

She says: “You can’t learn to ride until you are riding, really. It is something that comes by experience. I was earning £62.85 a week and living in a hostel at the yard. It is a way of life and it is not for the faint-hearted. You have to want to do it. You are out in all weathers.

“I was learning about being a stable person. I always wanted to be a trainer but I didn’t think it would ever really happen.”

After a couple of years in Wiltshire, Amy came back to Newmarket to work for trainer Michael Bell before doing a stint in France.

She says: “It was 2001 and I was 20 and I went to France as a pupil assistant trainer at a yard in Chantilly, north of Paris, which is like France’s equivalent of Newmarket. It was the first step of learning to be a trainer and it was a beautiful place to live and work.”

It was then Amy decided to have a break from the racing industry.

She says: “I worked in a casino in Mayfair for three years as a croupier. I didn’t have the money behind me to become a trainer and I fancied a change. It was a great experience and I saw a very different side to life.” But the pull of Newmarket proved to be too much and Amy came back to the town and started working for Michael Bell again as an assistant trainer.

She says: “I had still followed racing and still ridden out, so I knew I’d come back eventually. I worked for three years as an assistant trainer and really learnt what it was all about.”

It was in 2008 that Amy started out on her own.

She says: “I was lucky as I had an owner prepared to back me financially in the beginning. I had no experience of running a business, apart from a GCSE in business studies.”

Today Amy trains 10 horses in her yard close to the Newmarket gallops.

She has enjoyed several successes, not least by putting horses in for races abroad. She says: “My first runner was amazing and my third runner won, which was a big relief. I was the youngest female trainer at the time and I didn’t come from a racing family, so I was quite unusual.”

Amy, who is single, lives with her friend and top jockey Hayley Turner.

Her day starts early with riding out with her staff and looking after the horses from 6.30am onwards.

She says: “At 12.30 the stable lads go home and I come into the office in the afternoon to check emails and plan races. There are so many aspects to being a trainer but race planning – putting the right horses in the right races – is really important to get right.”

And of course there is the international travel and the race days, chatting to owners, dealing with phone calls and emails.

Amy said Sir Henry Cecil had been an important figure in her career: “He was a big mentor to me. He was friendly to everyone out on the heath and he was always happy to offer advice and encouragement.”

“When I’m out on the gallops on a lovely morning there is a thrill when the horses thunder past. It is then I think I am lucky to be doing this job.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Morgan and Harry Hutchins stay cool during the day, but how you cool down at night?

Temperatures across the county soared to 33 degrees Celsius today, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

A forest fire near Kingfisher Lake

Crews were called just before 2pm to the fire near Kingfisher Lake, just off the B1107.

David Sims, 69, a firearms enquiry officer, is due to in court to answer three counts of possessing a firearm of length less than 30cm  prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a certificate and possession of a firearm without a certificate.

The man, who has dementia, was with a friend when he wandered off at around 2pm.

Archant Suffolk photographer Sarah Lucy Brown shares an image of sunny Aldeburgh on her Instagram account

This week temperatures could rise to a sweltering 33C in East Anglia.

Stansted Airport

A report into the future of Britain’s airports does not rule out a second runway at Stansted – and raises fears of extra night flights to the Essex airport.

Artist's impression of 'Jubilee Place' and Jubilee Walk, one of the new quarters put forward in the Haverhill town centre masterplan.

Members of the public will be able to find out more about plans to revitalise Haverhill town centre when a bus parks up for three days from tomorrow.

Dermot O'Leary

Colchester boy Dermot O’Leary has been announced as the new ceremonial head of a north Essex hospice.

The Quay Theatre in Sudbury.

Only half of those responding to an online survey about Sudbury have visited historic market town’s key tourist attraction, figures have revealed.

Elderly woman taken to hospital with life threatening injuries

The 82-year-old died from her injuries following a collision with a Ford Fusion this afternoon.

Morgan and Harry Hutchins stay cool during the day, but how you cool down at night?

There is only so much relief the cold side of the pillow can bring, so here are our ten tips for sleeping in a heatwave.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages