Josephine Gordon: ‘Good riding skills not enough to be a successful jockey’

Race in action. Credit Mike Mitchell

A former champion apprentice jockey says that horse racing is a tough sport for all involved – but with the right mentality you can be successful.

Josephine Gordon, who has ridden over 300 winners, believes the young jockeys coming through should ignore criticism thrown their way.

“At the end of the day, it’s a tough sport. You have to be thick skinned. You have to be tough. 

“If they are good enough and if they brush everything off, they will do well.”

Recent winner for Josephine Gordon

Gordon has had success in all grades of racing, with the highlights being riding group winners and regularly appearing in the winner’s enclosures on a Saturday afternoon.

However, a broken hand sustained in a race at Ayr stalled her progress with Gordon finding the support network was different when she returned.

She added: “I had an injury up at Ayr where I broke my hand which set me back three to four weeks and then when I got back, I struggled to get going. 

“I felt when I came back, I wasn’t getting the same support.”

Racing TV lockdown chat with Josephine Gordon

Now riding freelance, the 27-year-old has enjoyed one of her most productive winter seasons, with the all-weather tracks hosting multiple race days.

Gordon, who is currently available to sponsor for the upcoming turf season, is hoping new connections will keep her busy for the foreseeable future.

She said: “Normally, through the winter I’m a lot quieter but my agent, Adam, is doing a brilliant job for me.

“I wouldn’t normally be so busy in the winter. Hopefully, we’ve made some new connections to go into the turf season with.”

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To be a successful jockey, you need to have a strong team around you. But you also need to have the right mentality to ride the roller-coaster of the ups and downs of racing that come your way.

Gordon has the right combination of riding skills and a strong mentality to succeed. With good surroundings, a return to winning the bigger prizes in horse racing could be imminent.