William Humphrey has eyes on rider's championship after securing third win of the season
A former National Pony Racing Champion Jockey from West Wratting has both eyes on the rider’s championship, having secured his third win of the season at his home event.
William Humphrey, 17, beat off all competition, riding Local Show in the Novice Riders race, to romp home by a comfortable two lengths at The Thurlow at Horseheath meeting on Saturday.
It marked the return of local racing after the national equine flu outbreak placed a moratorium on all forms of horse racing across the country, which led to the Cambridge University Draghounds at Cottenham being called off on February 9.
The 17-year-old, who has long dreamed of one day becoming a professional jockey, has taken big strides in his progress this winter season and has now won three of the five Novice Riders’ races held so far, in his second season in the adult event.
He said: “It’s been really nice to do so well and a real pleasure to be riding such a lovely horse.
“He (Local Show) flatters me really because he knows so much, but I’m massively pleased – I couldn’t ask for a better start.
“There’s a long way yto go, but I’m so pleased with where I am with three wins from five and hopefully I can keep it up.”
Humphrey, who became National Pony Racing Champion Jockey in 2017, said his experience on ponies had set him up well, alongside the invaluable experience gained last season.
Father Tony said it had been tough for him, competing against ‘grown men’ for the first time.
But, after just one season, William appears to have learned how to compete at this level.
“His ambition is to become a professional jockey,” Tony said. “Since he was about two year’s old, he’s wanted to do that.
“But that takes time of course, and he took a bit of a dip last season as he learned his trade more – but he does seem to now be taking that next step.We are very proud.
“And we are big supporters of our local event, The Thurlow at Horseheath, so it was lovely to see him win his race.”
He added that William is currently studying at Long Road College in Cambridge, and is keen to finish his school studies before pursuing a professional career.
But William had gained his amateur racing licence at the end of last summer, to enable him to race further afield, as he looks to continue his development across the next few years.
The next East Anglian fixture is at Higham near Stoke-by-Nayland on Sunday and will be hosted by the Waveney Harriers. The steeplechase racing begins at 1pm.
William said he was ‘delighted’ to have been invited to ride a Caroline Fryer horse at the weekend, but was not yet sure which race he would be entered in.