We are delighted to bring you an interview with Will Featherstone.
Having ridden in over 250 races including an Aintree winner for Trevor Hemmings, Will talks to us about his early days, Barry Geraghty & his potential return to the saddle after 2 years away!
When did you first become interested in racing or horses?
I was a late comer to racing really, hating horses because we never got to see Mum/Dad because they were always with them until I got to around 13 years of age. I realised I had to be with a horse if I wanted to see Mum (Mum/Dad had separated by this point) Dad being a builder.
Can you remember watching racing on TV when you were younger, if so any particular race?
Kicking King(King George), Moscow Flyer(Champion Chase), Macs Joy & Big Zeb to name a few. I was obsessed with Barry Geraghty as a kid, I was too young to understand why!
I think he was just riding all those good chasers at the time.
What was your route into racing?
My mother (Lucinda) used to train around 20 horses mainly on the flat with a few jumpers. I’d always disappear and be schooling things without her knowing!
How would you describe your racing journey?
My racing journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Hard work will always get you where you want to be. I’ve had lots of good and bad days. I’ve been in love with it, hated it and walked away from it.
Where was your first race under rules?
My first ride under rules was for mum at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile an amateur race on a horse called ‘Maybe I Won’t’ and it didn’t go to plan!
My first winner was ‘El Bravo’ in an amateur flat race around Wolverhampton, the day after my 19th birthday. Trained by Shaun Harris, who was brilliant with me and does very well with the limited horses he has.
My last winner was quite special ‘The Game is a Foot’ around plumpton for Zoe Davison, Zoe gave me the majority of my rides, was and still is like a second mother to me, so any winner for her is a good one!
My favourite winner is Kerrow, for Mr Trevor Hemmings and Mr King, around Aintree. I’d just started struggling with my weight a bit more, just gone down to my 5lb claim and needed a good winner. The horse was put in there for me to ride really and was spot on for the day. I drove home like a Cheshire Cat!!
How many lads can say they’ve ridden a winner around Aintree for Mr Hemmings and he was present. I have a big picture in my living room.
I would say my favourite course would be Fakenham, it’s quirky and I’ve had success there. Generally I’d say Newbury or Aintree, big galloping tracks & I think they seem to suit me…
You have not ridden on course since 2017, why was that & are we likely to see you on track again?
I’m not a natural 10st so weight was/is always a problem. Mentally tougher than physically, I always felt I had to be able to do 10st and it just got too much.
As for the future, I’m back riding out in Barbury everyday, I’m in the gym everyday and if I can get in a position where I can ride at 10st 7 or 10st 10 then you’ll see me again, hopefully by the middle of February!
What advice would you give any youngsters looking to get into racing today?
The advice I would give to anyone wanting to go into racing would be….
You need to be patient, work hard, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
You can’t listen whilst your talking & to enjoy it.
It’s a great way of life and when you finish racing you’ll have to do a proper job.
We would like to wish Will all the best for the future & whatever he decides, he will be a success…
Interview – Rich Williams
Pictures – Will Featherstone(Facebook)