8 November 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ On Friday, 6 November the opening session of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Training and Education Conference panel at the National Archives building approached the wide subject of PR and Media for Racing Industry Recruitment.
Led by Moderator, Philip Brannan, speakers were Top TV Race Presenter, Derek Thompson; Pamela Burton, publisher of the international internet magazine, www.horsereporter.com; Gary Capwell, UK TV Presenter; Adeline Gombaud from Jour De Galop; Jean-Claude Allies Paris Turf; John Cobb from the UK Racing Post; and Victoria Shaw, the only lady race announcer in Australia.
The main points presented were that media are key to send out information about events, and with 100 professional and apprentice jockeys in the audience, many riding on Sunday, the conversation quickly turned to how an apprentice jockey should prepare for the media, who will want to ask them questions or have an interview in the future. As the past sessions had emphasized that a jockey is his own best promotion, the subject of a jockey’s media presence was timely.
Some advice to young jockeys:
- Media are looking for good photos. Be sure to thank the horse, a hug or pat after the rides is a nice gesture and also makes a nice photo opportunity.
- “Be yourself when you answer a reporter,” said Derek Thompson.
- “Prepare a few words on what you will say when you win on Sunday,” was the advice from Pamela Burton.
- “If you’re asked about a ride that you didn’t win, and there will plenty of those, be gracious and honest,” said Gary Capwell.
Other good advice collected:
- Plan for success, manage your careers professionally. Listen to interviews of other sports figures for tips, speak clearly.
- Develop your own personality – the reference was given to jockey Franki Dettori’s end jump off his horse in the winning circle – all photographers want this photo.
- Be certain to thank the owner and trainer of the horse after the race. These are the people who gave you the ride and have the ultimate power to give you more.
In the end, it is the media with their stories of racing and top jockeys that can do the most for the racing industry and recruitment.
Directly after the morning session Festival Director Lara Sawaya and Commentator Derek Thompson conducted a workshop which involved the apprentice jockeys in a discussion of exercise and nutrition and what they might find important to bring into future apprentice jockey sessions. All of the apprentices have been invited to return for the 14 February 2016 HH President’s Cup race at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
A celebration dinner was held later in the evening at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
The final session On Breeding will be held on Saturday, 7 November with a Gala Dinner after at the Emirates Palace Hotel on the Terrace.