Young apprentice jockey Oliver Stammers grasps there is no short cuts to be taken if he is to become a leading jockey. He is willing to learn, and eager to succeed.
Stammers is based with winningmost trainer Mark Johnston, he is trying to keep his head down and let his riding to the talking.
We caught up with the exceptional young rider who you will be hearing a lot more about in the forthcoming months.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Oliver Stammers, I’m 17 Years old and apprentice jockey to Mark Johnston.
How did you get into racing?
I have been riding since I could sit up and I started pony racing when I was eleven riding all over the UK and Ireland. I always wanted to become a jockey and pony racing really helped by giving me the experience at such a young age. I immediately got the bug and knew that race riding was all I wanted to do.
What was it like to get your first winner & how did you feel in the enclosures after?
I was extremely lucky to ride my first winner under rules on my very first ride on ‘Ravenhoe’ in an apprentice race at Wolverhampton, in February just a week after I had completed my license course. It was a fantastic feeling and I can’t thank Mr Johnston enough for giving me the opportunity.
Plans for this season?
I have been very fortunate to have ridden six winners this season. The main aim for the rest of the season is to continue to learn and improve and get as much experience as I can. I would like to ride as much as possible on the all-weather during the winter, so I can develop my race riding skills and become a better, stronger jockey ready for next season.
Is it hard for a young jockey to breakthrough?
It can be extremely hard for a young jockey to break through. You need to obviously be a very talented rider but also you need to be on the right horses on the big days to be noticed and stand out. When you get the opportunities, you have to make them count as they may only come around once, so it’s very important to show your ability when you can.
What is it like riding for Mark Johnston?
It is an honour to work for such an incredible trainer like Mr Johnston and I am very lucky with the opportunities I have been given. It is an amazing organisation that is very well run, and the results speaks for itself. The horses are tough, consistent and are a joy to ride as they have such a will to win. It was brilliant Mr Johnston broke the record for the most number of winners trained, and it just goes to show that hard work and dedication really does pay off.
Who do you look up to in the weighing room?
I look up to all the senior jockeys in the weighing as they have so much experience and knowledge. My favourite jockeys would be Richard Hughes and Joseph O’Brien. Riding today would be Danny Tudhope and James Doyle. They are all very strong, stylish and I really admire the way they ride.
Have you ever had to deal with internet trolling?
I have had a few punters unhappy if I have been beaten on a fancied horse but if I have given one a bad ride I’m sure I’m more annoyed than them.
Give us a few horses to follow?
Two fillies I really like would be Main Edition and Natalie’s joy. I really hope they can continue to progress and train on into top class three-year olds.
Away from racing how do unwind?
I enjoy running and working on my fitness in my spare time. I also like reading most probably about horses or racing.