Amateur Rider Series

The winter months aren’t just a time for the jump jockeys to shine, each year the Amateur Riders Series is held comprising of 11 races at racecourses all over the country. The riders themselves come from a range of backgrounds, however, the majority are directly involved in the industry and work full time as stable hands, trackwork riders, and some are even ex-professional Jockeys. 

A points system based on finishing position provides an exciting and variable competition for the riders, who, unlike the professionals, do not get paid for their work.

Many riders have used their experience as Amateur Jockeys to move into a full-time professional roles as Jumps Jockeys for Hurdle & Steeplechase Races, which also run during the winter.

It is thanks to the support of generous sponsors such as FLAIR Inc that some recognition is provided after each race with the winning rider receiving a voucher as well as the overall winner of the series being presented a trophy at the end of the year.

 

Date  Track Class Distance Stake Winning Jockey and Horse
21 April 2024 Hawera MDN 2100m $17,000 Scotty MacNab (Rakanui)
19 May 2024 Hawera MDN 2100m $17,000 Nicole Jenkins (Bella Noche)
27 June 2024 Te Aroha R65 2200m $17,000 Amber Riddell (Billy Boy)
29 June 2024 Hastings R65 2100m $35,000 Caitlin McKee (Meandeel) - Duke of Gloucester Cup
13 July 2024 Trentham R75 2100m $35,000 Scotty MacNab (So Call Me)
17 July 2024 Pukekohe Park MDN 2100m $17,000  
7 August 2024 Riccarton Synthetic R65 2200m $35,000  
25 August 2024 Hawera MDN 2100m $18,500  
1 September 2024 Te Aroha R65&JMPS 2200m  $40,000  
8 September 2024  Woodville R65 2100m $18,500  
29 September 2024 Te Aroha R65 2200m $18,500  

 

 

 

2023 Winner

Congratulations Scotty MacNab

The Amateur Rider series is run on a points system where a rider is awarded points for placing in any of the 10 amateur races throughout the season. 1st place receives 10 points, 2nd - 7, 3rd - 5, 4th - 3, 5th - 2 and 6th place gets 1 point.

Past winners of the Amateur Riders Series:

2023 - Scotty MacNab

2022  - Lisa Kennedy

2021 - Scotty MacNab

2020 - Not contested

2019 - Luke Myers

2018 - Clinton Isdale

2017 - Scotty MacNab

2016 - Sarah MacNab

2015 - Scotty MacNab

2014 - Rebecca Goldsbury

2013 - Scott Wenn

2012 - Scotty MacNab

2011 - Michelle Northcott

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Scotty MacNab Amateur rider
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Duke of Glouchester cup

Duke of Gloucester Cup. Photo: Race Images 

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Duke of Gloucester

2024 Duke of Gloucester Cup Amateur riders, with winner, Caitlin McKee. Photo: Race Images 

 

Duke Of Gloucester Cup History

Ingrained in the history of New Zealand racing is the Duke Of Gloucester Cup, which is held at a different racecourse every year. The 2024 Duke of Gloucester Cup was held at Hastings on Saturday 29 June and was won by Caitlin McKee aboard Meandeel, for trainer Ken Harrison.

One of the most memorable racedays in the Marton Jockey Club’s proud history took place in 1935 when Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, who was the son of the reigning monarch King George V attended the Club’s New Year’s day race meeting at Marton.

It was reported that over 10,000 patrons attended the Marton races that day and when the military band struck up Land of Hope and Glory and the National anthem everyone oncourse burst into song. Not only did his Royal Highness Prince Henry attend the races that day, at the invitation of his host Sir Thomas Duncan, arrangements were made for the Duke to ride a horse called Black Man in the one mile and 137 yard Ladies’ Bracelet race for amateur riders which carried a stake of 50 pounds plus a trophy. Black Man and the Duke of Gloucester led clearly in the early stages, but the favourite began to wilt as the field turned for home under his big weight of 13 stone 2 pounds and they faded to finish fourth. 

Later that day the Duke presented the Marton Cup trophy won by the very good mare Cuddle to her Hasting owner-trainer C J Stowe. After her win in the 1935 Marton Cup, Cuddle went on to be one of New Zealand’s very best staying mares, winning two Auckland Cups, the New Zealand Cup and Doncaster Handicap in Australia. Wellington Racing Club’s Cuddle Stakes is still run in recognition of her prowess.

The Duke was obviously impressed with the hospitality he received from the Marton Jockey Club and later presented a trophy to be known as the Duke of Gloucester Cup, for competition amongst amateur riders. The Duke of Gloucester Trophy is still competed for annually in New Zealand, and changes venue each year.