Making weight, finding rides, but loving the sport
18 April 2016, USA ~ Congratulations Anna van den Troost
on your recent win in St. Moritz on the Arabian Nil Kamla in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Racing Championship.
Horsereporter knows many would love to know more about how you started into racing and more about your racing career.
I live in Oud Turnhout, a small village East of Antwerp, Belgium. I train with my brother, who got his trainers license in the beginning of 2015. His stable is in Westmeerbeek, also near Antwerp. There are no races at this track as it is only for training, but it is the biggest training complex in Belgium.
I started riding as soon as I could walk. I got a pony from my grandfather and started in the pony club from Oud Turnhout at age 6. My brother is a jockey as well, and he is six years older than I am. The moment he started his apprenticeship, I started to ride pony races. And when I became 16, I started my apprenticeship with Nino Minner. My first winner was for the same owner as the pony I used to ride in the pony races
Anna, how many races a year do you ride and are there many Arabians in your races?
I have around 300 rides a year. I often ride in Arabian races. In Belgium there are not so many but I ride often in Duindigt in the Netherlands and there are a lot of Arabian races there. I also ride a lot in Germany, but there are not a lot of Arabian races there, only about 10 a year. And of course there are the races of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Racing Championship.
How old are you and do you have your professional jockey license?
I become 20 at the and of last year (2015). I started as an apprentice but I became professional last year. I have 27 wins for the moment and this is my 4th year as a jockey.
What has been the most special ride for you?
The win I am the most proud of is the recent win in St Moritz. It was such a special experience, something I will never forget. The ride on Nil Kamla was amazing. She is a big strong mare. To ride and win on the White Turf of St Moritz is a dream coming true! I think the shortened distance was to my advantage as Nil Kamla is a very fast Arabian so it was ideal that it was only 800 meter.
Do you have any other jobs as well as jockey?
No, I don’t have an other job, I only ride race horses.
And what is your favorite part of being a jockey and do your parents support your career?
What I like the most about racing is the moment the gates open you forget about everything except your horse and the race. I can’t describe this amazing feeling and I think you have to do it before you can understand it. To do the thing we love the most and be able to make our job from it is just great.
My parents certainly support my decision to become a jockey. They did so much for me – driving me around hours a day so I could go train and go to the races. They are the main reason I am able to do the thing I love the most. My dad also has some race horses so they are really into racing.
Are there many other young jockeys in Belgium?
I certainly think that Belgium has some good amateur riders. A lot of new young riders started the last few years and they are all very motivated.
For the moment a lot of German and French jockeys are coming to Belgium to ride, so sometimes it is hard to get rides. Luckily my brother supports me so I get many rides from him.
What is the hardest part of being a jockey and will you continue this career?
I think making weight is one of the hardest things for every jockey and I did had some bad falls last year. My goal is to make it as a jockey and to be able to keep doing this as long as I can.
Thank you, Anna. We look forward to seeing you at the Championship finale in Abu Dhabi in November, and best of luck.
Anna is one of 14 winning jockeys that will line up for the Championship finale in Abu Dhabi on 6 November 2016.