Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 14°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

Motorists have faced delays on the A14 in the Bury area today. 

Photo: ARCHIVE

There are delays on the A14 in the Bury St Edmunds area after a road crash involving up to four vehicles.

Some school leaders, teachers and parents lack ambition to improve, according to Suffolk County Council

Too many school leaders, teachers and parents still do not aspire to turn around Suffolk’s under-performing education system.

Hundreds of people enjoyed Orford Fete and flower show at the weekend. BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson handed out the trophys.  Nick Robinson with John Henry Brown who won 'Best in Show' for the third year in a row.

Giant fruit and veg, canine competitions, a local personality – it’s the perfect recipe for a Suffolk village celebration.

The Eye Town Show at the Community Centre on Sunday.
Kitty-Boo, 9, and Hepsie, 7, Capey with their winning Best Rescue Dogs Demby and Alfie in the dog show

More than 750 headed to the grounds of Eye Community Centre on Sunday for the third annual Eye Town Show.

Barclays Bank on Princes Street in Ipswich was closed due to a fight on the premises.

Two more suspects have been arrested after a mass brawl which led to the closure of Barclays Bank in Ipswich town centre.

Fly tipping on the side of the road in Finningham Road between Walsham le Willows and Finningham.

Flytipping incidents in Ipswich have risen by almost one-third in the past three years according to new figures.

Nikos Savvas and Alan Whittaker of West Suffolk College and One sixth form

Two of the biggest education providers in Suffolk are today joining forces to create an academy trust which is designed to raise standards in the county.

Firefighters attended the incident

A woman suffered from smoke inhalation following a kitchen fire in Elmswell.

Cameron Bridge who sang at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in comedian Josie Long's set.

An Ipswich teenager’s feet have hardly touched the ground since he was ushered onto the stage of a talent show at Isaacs on the Quay by his mum and dad three years ago and sung to an audience for the first time.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service called to car blaze in Red Lodge.

Firefighters were called to a car fire in Red Lodge in the early hours.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages