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Cambridge student and former jockey Kathy Begley wins award



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Former jockey Kathy Begley (28) from Wiltshire has won the IJF Progress Award after gaining a place at St Edmunds College at the University of Cambridge to study veterinary medicine.

Kathy Begley and her director of studies Dr Stuart Eves
Kathy Begley and her director of studies Dr Stuart Eves

Worth £2,000 to the winner, the prize is part of the JETS Richard Davis Awards which celebrate the career development of jockeys and former jockeys.

The winners of these annual career development awards were revealed on Racing TV yesterday (Thursday, November 11). Following their first televised broadcast in 2020, the awards were hosted in a show presented by former Richard Davis Award winner Niall Hannity and his guest, former jockey George Baker.

Kathy rode 20 winners in her riding career which ended after struggling with her weight. While working in racing, she developed a strong interest in the veterinary side of racehorse care and took the decision to return to studies in order to gain the qualifications required to study veterinary medicine.

With the support of JETS, she then undertook a fast track chemistry A level, gaining the A-star grade she needed to secure a place at St Edmund’s College. Kathy said: “Stepping away from the racing world has been very hard but I know that my full-time second career lies in the equine and racing industries.

“Horses are my passion and I intend to keep it that way. Throughout my career in racing, I have gained many years of experience dealing with veterinary problems and working alongside vets and I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge and gaining my veterinary qualifications from Cambridge.”

Former Jockey, Kathy Begley, now studying veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge, winner of The IJF Progress Award, being presented with her trophy by Injured Jockeys Fund chief executive Lisa Hancock, as part of the JETS Richard Davis Awards. Picture: Dan Abraham/JETS (Jockeys Education & Training Scheme)
Former Jockey, Kathy Begley, now studying veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge, winner of The IJF Progress Award, being presented with her trophy by Injured Jockeys Fund chief executive Lisa Hancock, as part of the JETS Richard Davis Awards. Picture: Dan Abraham/JETS (Jockeys Education & Training Scheme)

Lisa Delany, JETS manager, added: “Throughout her riding career, Kathy has always been very engaged with JETS, realising the importance of gaining new skills and qualifications alongside her riding. She has shown a huge amount of commitment to take on a fast track A level, combining her studies with full-time work and we’re delighted that she has been accepted at such a prestigious university as Cambridge.”

Kathy’s director of studies, Dr Stuart Eves, said: “We get a really high calibre of student here but to have someone like Kathy who, so early in their career, has won this award shows the dedication she has which I really am in awe of.

“It’s a fantastic thing to get in this position and we now have every opportunity to go on and make the most of her second career in veterinary medicine.”

Kathy Begley at St Edmund's College, Cambridge
Kathy Begley at St Edmund's College, Cambridge

The JETS Richard Davis Awards, now in their 24th year, highlight the career development of both former jockeys and current jockeys and showcase the services provided by JETS (Jockeys Education & Training Scheme) to help jockeys prepare for their futures in order to secure a successful transition from riding.

For more information, visit jets-uk.org/.

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