A YOUNG jockey’s dream has come true after winning a place to work with the best in the business.
Alex Chadwick, 16, has secured a place in the yard of Champion National Hunt Trainer Paul Nicholls.
The talented young rider says it is a dream come true and he hopes to go on to take out his conditional licence, possibly early next year.
Alex, who lives in Windle Drive, Bourne but whose family moving to Stamford, will now make the move to the yard at Ditcheat in Somerset.
Alex landed the place after sending his CV to him as a long shot.
To his surprise he was offered a trial and interview.
Alex said: “I arrived at the yard and was met by Mr Nicholls and told that I was riding first lot. I didn’t expect to be riding first lot as that is the more forward going horses.
“I got the leg up on my ride, a horse called Take The Breeze who was on his toes and messing me around a bit but once I got serious with him and let him know who was boss he was fine….I had to show Mr Nicholls that I was in control!
“After the ride Mr Nicholls invited me for an interview. It was me in front of him and two other important people from the yard. When he shook my hand and said ‘there is a job here for you Alex’ I was overwhelmed.
“I know that I will be starting from scratch at a new yard and will need to get to know the horses and build a good working relationship with Mr Nicholls and the rest of the team.
“That is not going to happen over-night – I have got to mould into the job and keep working away because this is a much bigger job than I have ever had before. I am facing a really big challenge and I have a lot to prove to myself but I have enough self-belief to know I can meet it.”
Alex had been working hard to carve out a career as a jockey in the world of horse racing by working for well-respected Newmarket based flat trainer Charlie McBride.
He was due to start working full time in Newmarket and had a few offers from some other decent flat yards. However Alex has always wanted to be a jump jockey .
The opportunities in Newmarket are limited as it’s predominately flat racing yards in the area with only two relatively small National Hunt yards located there.
That’s when he decided to send his CV to Nicholls, who has been Champion National Hunt Trainer for the past six seasons and who’s horses include household names such as Kauto Star, Big Buck’s and Denman, as well as many other multiple Cheltenham Festival and Grade One winners.
Dad Mark said: “Alex has made a good reputation for himself in Newmarket and has some decent friends down there.
“However, he was told that if he wants to be a National Hunt Jockey that he needs to be in a top jumps yard by the time he is 18, that’s far easier said than done.”
Mark added: “To start off with he’ll be getting to know the horses, the yard and hopefully after Christmas he’ll be getting his conditional licence. He’s the only 16-year-old Paul Nichols has even taken on.”
Alex, who used to go to St George’s Primary School in Stamford, has won countless pony racing titles since he began riding at the age of six. His first riding lessons were at Wittering Grange Farm.