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Apprentices Graduate From Victorian Program

Mel Julius and Jess Eaton took home the top awards when 11 young jockeys graduated from Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program.

Apprentices Graduate From Victorian Program

Mel Julius and Jess Eaton took home the top awards when 11 young jockeys graduated from Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program.

Eaton, 24, claimed the Victorian Jockeys’ Association Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in Training award, whilst 26-year-old Julius collected the Andrew Gilbert Principles of Sport Science award.

They were joined at the ceremony by fellow graduates Mitch Aitken, Juana Andreou, Lucy Doodt, Trent Germaine, Chelsea Hall, Tahlia Hope, Rose Pearson, Jessie Philpot and Brandon Stockdale.


All the apprentices were praised for their dedication to their craft on a night when a record eight female jockeys graduated from the AJTP.

The unprecedented number of female graduates is indicative of the changing face of the thoroughbred racing industry in Victoria, with women currently making up 23 per cent of licensed jockeys across the state.

Over the past four years the 11 graduates have progressed from relative novices to confident, well-rounded jockeys, amassing more than 600 victories between them, predominantly in Victoria but also in other states.

Having emerged from the training program, the graduates will continue to compete as apprentice jockeys and will receive ongoing support from RV, notably from Apprentice Jockey Coaches Darren Gauci and Matt Pumpa, Jockey Wellbeing and Safety Officer Ron Hall and Athlete and Careers Development Manager Mel Weatherley.

Each of the apprentices received a memento of their time in the program and were congratulated by Giles Thompson, CEO of Racing Victoria.

“Being a professional jockey is not an easy career path to follow but it can be incredibly rewarding, and so we congratulate the graduates who have made it this far through their hard work and determination, and wish them every success in the future,” he said.

Over the years, the AJTP has proven to be a resounding success, with five-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner Craig Williams amongst the jockeys to have graduated from it. More recent graduates include Regan Bayliss, Katelyn Mallyon, Beau Mertens and Ben Thompson.

The four-year program offers specialist learning in areas such as race riding, performance analysis, sports science and sports medicine, as well as media, finance and business skills.

Racing And Sports




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