Apprentice of the week: GABRIELL PIETERSE

SA Horseracing recently took time out to find out more about Gabriell Pieterse who is a fourth year Apprentice at the SA Jockey Academy.

Gabriell is based in Summerveld and travels to Johannesburg and Cape Town to race for different trainers.

Do you have any family connections to racing? If yes please elaborate.
I don’t have direct connection to racing other than an uncle who presents on TellyTrack.

How did you get involved in becoming an apprentice?
It was recommended to me by many people due to my height and need for speed.

Is there any special traits especially or requirements one needs for the profession?
You need to have no fear; a passion for speed; and absolutely adore horses

How do you keep fit physically and mentally?
To keep fit I ride a lot of work and do gym. I keep mentally focused by trying to better myself in every way. This gives me a sense of pride.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
Jeff Lloyd – retired South African jockey, trained at SAJA and currently based in Australia
Karis Teetan – Mauritian jockey, trained at SAJA and currently based in Hong Kong
Joao Moreira – Brazilian jockey; international rider currently based in Hong Kong

Who is your favourite jockey and why?
Zac Purton, Australian jockey – he has a mastermind in a race

What are the qualities or attributes that an apprentice needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
Success comes from courage, dedication and love of the horse. Also being comfortable and flexible when racing.

What race do you aspire to win, both locally and nationally?
Summer Cup
A Triple Crown

Where is your favourite racetrack?

What would you like to see changed in racing?
Apprentices getting enough rides so they can travel to all the provinces

Give us an example of what you have learnt about racing riding (or work riding) specific to your technique or weakness that you have worked on successfully?
Stick-use – using it sensibly and thoughtfully, and becoming ambidextrous. It is tough but a lot of practice made it perfect

Where do you see yourself in the future in this racing industry?
Taking up opportunities all around the world

What do you think of the SAJA and the work they do for you?
Grateful for the amazing opportunity to become a professional

Other – Sponsors; recent big rides; achievements; hobbies/interests; claims; upcoming events
I raced Motocross before joining the Academy and won an African Championship

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