History was created when three female apprentice jockeys graduated from a batch of 17 at the passing-out ceremony for the new Jockeys’ Schools trainees on the lawns of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), Hagley Park Road, last Thursday.The young ladies are 21-year-old Mellisa Ward, a past student of Camperdown High; 22-year-old Natalie Berger, a graduate of Gaynstead High; and 24-year-old Andree Powell, a past student of Clarendon College.Prior to this batch, only two women had graduated from the Jockeys’ Training School since its inception in 1980 – Azel Cowie in 1992 and Georgina Sergeon in 2009.The other graduates who completed the 24-week training course from February to July were Oneil Beckford, Dane Dawkins, Odean Edwards, Amoy Gray, Bebeto Harvey, Jerome Innis, Roshane Johnson, Kemoy Parchment, Javaniel Patterson, Hakeem Pottinger, AndrÈ Powell, Oneil Scott, Linton Steadman, and Anthony Thomas. They are scheduled to ride against senior jockeys at Caymanas Park on Saturday, September 26.JRC operations steward Haldene Johansen, who gave the course overview, disclosed that there were “significant changes to the programme this time around as the JRC listened to the stakeholders.””We placed greater emphasis on the core elements of the programme in order to produce well-rounded horsemen,” he said.Emphasis was placed on horsemanship, which was taught by well-known equestrian Susan Wates, race-riding techniques by retired Hall of Fame jockey Charles Hussey (now a steward), personal development, the rules of racing and an expanded nutritional programme to help new riders cope with weight problems.be the bestGuest speaker was former JRC chairman Dennis Lalor, who challenged the class of 2015 to be the best they can be, as they enjoy the opportunity their predecessors of a bygone era never had.Lalor, who as chairman of the JRC in 1980 spearheaded the formation of the Jockeys’ School, recalled that under the old system, the apprentices “were not required to be literate or numerate like the ones coming through the school today, hence the dropout rate was 35 per cent. I vowed to break that cycle … .”You are now the glamour boys and girls of racing. Being educated, this is your opportunity to take advantage of a noble sport, to ensure that corruption is avoided. Please be careful of the company you seek … . God be with all of you, and may your careers be the best,” said Lalor.Also speaking were Jeffrey Mordecai of the JRC sub-committee; Richard Longmore of the JRC; Owners Association president Dr Graham Brown; the respective presidents of the trainers’ associations, Vin Edwards and Dale Murphy; Jockeys’ Guild President AndrÈ Martin; Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited; and Ina Lawrence, principal of the Jockeys’ School.
Vice President and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock says economic sustainability of Indigenous villages and communities remains Government’s top priority as the fifth North Pakaraima Expo opened on Monday in Tuseneng Village, Region Eight.Some of the officials attending the ExpoThe Minister noted that for success to be achieved, there must be partnership, and the Government was capable, ready, and willing to partner so that this could be achieved.One such collaborative initiative to be executed by the Ministry which will ensure villages and communities are managed sustainably is a Village Improvement Plan (VIP) where the Ministry will assist in the development of a 10-year plan for sustainability.“To properly serve these communities we must have a plan; we call it the Village Improvement Plan, which means that you must know your resources – human and other natural resources…so the VIP will allow us to take management control of our destiny and you see, we have to be in partnership with this movement, we cannot do it alone, but we are prepared to meet you halfway to work in collaboration with you to achieve those needs.”The Minister also brought into focus an initiative, which would empower the Indigenous peoples, noting that “we have already started to have institutions within the various regions; take, for example Regions 1,7,8 and 9 that need services, that need easier access to better education, better health, better opportunities for markets, agriculture linkages… and better roads so that when the roads become a reality, where you can travel without hindrance, you must have products readily available for shipment; we must be able to use the road and not the road using us.”Another project soon to be realised is a lapidary project in Monkey Mountain, which will soon begin producing jewellery and ornaments from semi-precious stones to supply the local and international markets.Tuseneng Village Toshao Philip Geronimo acknowledged that history continued to be made for his people, since this was the first time that a sitting Head of State has visited the village, with President David Granger making his inaugural visit and address to hundreds who turned out for the activity.The expo attracted hundreds from Kanapang, Penak, Itabac, Kurukubaru, Kato, Paramakatoi, Monkey Mountain and Chuing Mouth who traversed through valleys and over mountains for the two-day event.
Saint Etienne are set to snub a permanent deal for Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.Van Wolfswinkel, who signed for Norwich in a club-record £8.5m deal in 2013, was shipped out on loan to the French side after enduring a miserable first season in the Premier League.It had started well for the forward, who scored on his debut, but he failed to register another goal all season and the Canaries were relegated to the Championship.After being moving on season-long loan to Saint Etienne last summer, it has been an up-and-down campaign for the Dutchman, who has scored five in 25 Ligue appearances.There were suggestions that the Ligue 1 side would look to sign him permanently but, according to sources in France, they are now preparing a move for Toulouse hotshot Wissam Ben Yedder instead and will send The Wolf back to Norfolk.Ben Yedder has scored 11 in 30 this term despite playing for struggling Toulouse and Saint Etienne will reportedly move for him if his current side are relegated. 1 Ricky van Wolfswinkel