LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 11, 2012) – Bluegrass Community & Technical College’s North American Racing Academy (BCTC-NARA) has been invited to participate in the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Nov. 8 – 12.
And, for the first time, a BCTC-NARA graduate apprentice jockey has been invited to ride in the International Apprentice Jockey Race that will take place during the festival. The race will feature a select group of apprentice jockeys selected by the European Association of Racing Schools (EARS).
“This is a big step forward in our goal of involving BCTC-NARA in a more regular exchange of student riders and horsemen between us and our sister racing schools overseas. We are grateful to the representatives of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and EARS for this invitation. It will be quite an honor for NARA to be part of this prestigious racing festival,” BCTC-NARA Executive Director Remi Bellocq said.
Andrew Wolfsont, a spring 2011 BCTC-NARA graduate, has been selected to represent the U.S. and NARA in the Apprentice Jockey Race. Wolfsont is a licensed apprentice jockey who is currently riding with success at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania.
All newly licensed jockeys are given an apprentice allowance during their first year of between 5 and 10 lbs. off of their assigned weight depending on the number of winners they have ridden. Wolfsont, who already has 60 wins, currently enjoys a 5 lbs. apprentice allowance.
“He is polished, was an excellent student and is very excited about this opportunity to represent BCTC-NARA and the U.S. in our first race among our fellow racing schools. We think he’ll fly our colors with distinction.” Bellocq said.
Wolfsont will be riding with apprentice jockeys from the British Racing School, the Northern Racing College (UK), the Racing Academy & Centre of Education (RACE), the French Racing School (AFASEC), the Pisa San Rossore Racing School (ITA) and the German Jockey School. Other racing schools may be confirmed later.
"Its been a few weeks now since I was selected and I still can't believe that in only a few more I'll be competing in an international apprentice race across the world in Abu Dhabi. It’s a real honor to represent the North American Racing Academy, but I am mostly looking forward to competing against some of the top apprentice riders from all over the world,” Wolfsont said.
The Conference and race are being hosted under the directives of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak EARS Apprentice Jockeys race for both male and female jockeys will be run on Nov. 11.
“By staging the conference in Abu Dhabi it will be a great opportunity to those aspiring to gain a foothold in flat racing and also for those who are already in the sport,” said Lara Sawaya, Director of the Festival and Head of IFAHR ladies racing.
For more information about the event, visit www.sheikhmansoorfestival.com.