We are delighted to present an interview with National Hunt Conditional Jockey Charlie Hammond, who tells us about his route into racing, who he thinks is Ironman( It’s not Robert Downey Jr), the horse he would love to have ridden and One to look out for… Plus so much more!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?
I am 23 & Conditional Jockey for Dr Newland. I have ridden 54 winners with 25 of them coming last season.
What is your earliest memory of Racing?
My earliest memory is going Point to Point racing with Mum and Dad, they both rode a little bit and it was a great upbringing
Can you tell us about your route into racing?
With Mum and Dad both riding and then they started training, so I have been very lucky to have been brought up in & around the sport.
Did you always want to be a Jockey, if not what other career did you have in mind?
I always wanted to be a jockey, much to my Mums disappointment, she would have loved me to get a “proper job”.
Your Conditional Jockey with Dr Newland, how did this come about?
I have been with Dr Newland for 6 years now. I first started at 16 when I went in to cover people’s holidays. A year or so later at 17 and having passed my driving test, sadly someone left and I started full time. I have never looked back since!
Did you have any racing heroes?
Any jockey you’d ask would say AP McCoy I think! For me, AP rewrote the records and was an Ironman.
Do you set any targets for the season?
I do normally set targets for the season, however I started this season well and then picked up an injury so that has slowed me down. I think targets give you something to aim for and that can only be a positive.
Do you remember your first start under rules? And how long from the first start before you landed your first winner?
My first start under rules was as an Amateur on a horse called Dougal Philps, he ran okay & was the best work horse we had, but you wouldn’t ever believe that if you saw him at the races!
I think it took me about 10 rides to have a winner and it was for the boss, on a horse called Neverownup in a Hunters Chase, so that was a great day.
My first winner as a Conditional Jockey was for James Evans at Ludlow when riding Minella Bliss.
What has been your favourite moment in racing so far?
Would be a tough choice between riding Abolitionist in the Beecher chase OR Storm Rising and Aaron Lad winning at Cheltenham
What are your aims for the future?
I’d love to ride out my claim as soon as possible and then maintain the quantity of rides I’m getting as well as the quality.
If you could ride ONE HORSE – Past or Present – Who would it be & Why?
Would have to be Denman, what a talent and what a thrill to ride a horse of that ability.
Can you give our readers a horse to keep an eye on
She may not be a superstar but Nordican Bleue is a mare we have at home, if she settles we definitely haven’t seen the best of yet.
We would like to thank Charlie for taking the time to talk to us & we wish him all the best for the rest of the season and for his career in racing, as he has a bright future in front of him.
Interview by Rich Williams
Photo’s – Charlie Hammond (Except Ironman, sorry AP McCoy File)