Thursday 17 October 2019

Apprentice Jockey Poppy Bridgwater Talks Racing And Goats

Poppy Bridgwater is a young apprentice jockey going places. The 21-year-old is apprentice jockey to David Simcock and rides regularly for Tony Carroll. Poppy has struck up a good relationship with Toni’s Star winning three times on her. The daughter of David Bridgwater looks to have a great future ahead and answer a few questions about her career to date.

Poppy, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

My dad is a trainer, so I was always involved with racing from a young age... I have ridden since I was a child and was very into my showjumping as a teenager. I got the bug for racing when I went to the Cheltenham festival to watch the Giant Bolster run in the Gold Cup... but it wasn’t until my mum rode in a charity race at Cheltenham that I would thought, id quite like to do that! 

At what age did you become a jockey? 

I was 16 when I rode as an amateur, my dad trains mainly jumps horses, but he was very good at finding me horses to have a spin round on. I was 18 when I got my apprentice licence, after having my first ride as an amateur on Engai, that was it, I was fully focused and all I wanted to do was race ride. 

You have ridden some nice winners over the years do you have a favourite? 

I have enjoyed every single winner I’ve had in a different way, they’re all special to me. My first winner is one I’ll never forget, it was a fantastic day for me and my dad. Winning the Brighton Bullet on Pour La Victoire was a very special day too, I’ve won 4 on that horse and we had a very good partnership. But I’d have to say riding a winner at Ascot on She Believes for Sylvester Kirk was the most important to me. It came at just the right time and nothing can beat Ascot! 

If you weren't riding horses what would you have done? 

I think if I wasn’t riding in races I’d go into showjumping. If not I’d love to have worked with animals.

If you could ride any horse in history who would it be? 

A horse called Dargo my dad trained. Won with Jason weaver by a distance... wouldn’t mind a winner that easy! Or I’d absolutely love to have sat on Cue Card, or Hurricane Fly, two of my favourite jumps horses. 

What is your goal for the future? 

Just keep chipping away, hopefully, ride a few winners on the AW! Been a bit quiet this year, so hopefully, pick things back up. 

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I love running or anything sporty, but in my spare time, I like spending time at home with the goats and dogs.. if I’m not there I’ll be shopping with friends. 

What does the day in the life of a jockey involve? 

A typical day for me is wake up at 5.30, ride out as many lots as I can, if I’m racing head off to the races sometimes you can be driving up to 6 hours a day, have a run around the track and ride. If I’m not racing, do evening stables and go to the gym. 

Do you get time off to go out and hit the town or do you have to be strict all the time? 

If I’m not working at the weekend I can go out. I tend to go home and see my family on the weekends so wouldn’t go for nights out very often. 

Any horses for my readers to look out for over the coming months? 

I quite like a filly I ride called Lady Tati. She goes nicely at home, just see if she takes it to the track. I also like a horse I rode first time out called Morlaix, over a trip I think he’ll be a nice horse. 

Last but not least tell me about your goats. 

I have 4 goats... my favourite and probably the most well-known one is called Libby. She’s a pygmy goat, we got her from a petting zoo, she was the first goat I ever had and I definitely fell in love with them. I’d almost go as far as saying I’d choose a goat over a dog as a companion! Absolutely love them. They are so full of character and energy! 

A big thank you to Poppy for taking the time to answer questions for my blog and good luck for the future.

Visit David Bridgwater website

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