Apprentice of the Week: SIPHESIHLE HLENGWA.

Siphesphile Hlengwa is a second year Apprentice at the SA Jockey Academy. He has made substantial progress and will soon get his license to race ride.

How did you get involved in becoming an apprentice?
My high school teacher said I should consider being a jockey, but I didn’t know anything about racing. Shortly after I started to learn about the sport and decided to apply to the SA Jockey Academy.

How long have you had aspirations to become a jockey?
When I started high school in 2017.

Is there any special traits especially or requirements one needs for the profession?
Hard work and dedication.

How do you keep fit physically and mentally?
Riding work in the morning helps me keep physically fit and I surround myself with positive people to keep myself mentally fit.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
S’Manga Khumalo has inspired me by proving that anything is possible if you put hard work into it.

Who is your favourite jockey and why?
S’Manga Khumalo. He is a very strong rider who really enjoys racing and I like his riding style.

What are the qualities or attributes that an apprentice needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
Mental focus and hard work.

What race do you aspire to win, both locally and nationally?
Vodacom Durban July and the Melbourne Cup.

Where is your favourite racetrack?
Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse because it hosts the biggest race in Africa, which is the Vodacom Durban July.

What would you like to see changed in racing?
I would like to see horse racing getting more popular like another sports and more people getting involved.

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?
When I started riding I was too high in the saddle because of being tall but the Riding Masters have taught me how to get low and strengthen my seat.

Where do you see yourself in the future in this racing industry?
I would like to ride all over the world and get to ride with the World Champion Jockeys and one day be a Champion Jockey myself.

What do you think of the SAJA and the work they do for you?
The SA Jockey Academy are the best at training apprentices and teaching horsemanship.

What advice would give someone keen in getting involved in becoming an apprentice?
Follow your passion and put in hard work and you will get where you want to be.

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