Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.

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.”

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 Ipswich Star 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 Ipswich Star 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 Ipswich Star 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

Walkers get ready for the start of the ladies midnight walk in aid of St Helena Hospice at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom on 28-May-2016.
Picture: Steve Waller 
www.stephenwaller.com

Hundreds of ladies illuminated the streets of Colchester this weekend — wearing their finest and brightest neon clothes and accessories for St Helena Hospice’s eighth annual Midnight Walk.

Enjoy a family day out at the Suffolk Show

Looking for ways to entertain the family during the school holidays? Here we bring you a round up of what is on in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and elsewhere in Suffolk, and into north Essex.

EACH Colour Dash at Christchurch Park

Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) during Ipswich’s most well supported Colour Dash to date.

Priti Patel

Pro-Brexit Essex MP Priti Patel added to a new row in the EU Referendum campaign by accusing the leaders of the “Remain” side of being so wealthy and privileged that they did not understand the concerns of most voters.

Major Tim Pig preview shots. Image: Jane Anderson

The finer points of his space suit have been painted on, he has been shipped back to Ipswich and been glossed to protect him from the weather - and now Major Tim Pig is just waiting to land in the town centre.

City Palace Udaipur

With temperatures soaring into the 50’ – that is Celsius – in Rajasthan at present, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a place to be avoided!

File picture of Norwich Road/Orford Street junction in Ipswich.

Detectives investigating a serious sexual assault committed in Ipswich last weekend have carried out anniversary checks in the area.

The bank holiday weather was perfect for events like the Trimley Beer Festival.

For once organisers of bank holiday weekend events are set to be happy with the British weather as the region prepares for a third dry day today.

The Stowmarket town sign.

One woman has been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage following the incident last night.

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing

It would take a phenomenal effort to produce a bad Dirty Dancing show. The 1987 coming-of-age drama is ripe for any interpretation: iconic music, a timeless script, a clear story with emotional depth, relatable characters and well-defined goals, and of course, some pretty captivating dancing.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24