New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's (NZTR) Training and Development Committee has announced the appointment of Tommy Hazlett to the newly created position of Apprentice Jockey Mentor. Tommy is due to commence his new role on Monday 11 October 2010.
NZTR have been considering the new role for some time, and a review of the apprenticeship system for jockeys, carried out by the Training and Development Committee confirmed a number of our apprentices required additional support. The role is designed to provide valuable support to current and future Apprentices, and their employers.
As NZTR's newly appointed Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Tommy sees his role as additional practical support being provided to the young people who are the future of the Thoroughbred Racing Industry. "I see this as a great opportunity to get out there and make a difference" says Hazlett. "It's a hard world out there, and anything we can do to help these young people become successful, the better it is ultimately for the industry".
Hazlett has exactly the background NZTR were seeking for the role. He is a highly experienced rider, and held in very high regard by the broader racing industry. Hazlett has over 20 years experience in the racing industry both here in New Zealand and overseas, having also ridden in Australia, England and Ireland. Hazlett has a sound knowledge of the Rules of Racing, and has been instrumental in the development of a number of young apprentices in recent years. Until now, much of the support Hazlett has provided to these young apprentices has been voluntary, based on his passion for helping young people succeed.
NZTR recognises that the role will grow with time, and that initially it will be a case of the mentor becoming familiar with each apprentice, and their particular needs. It is envisaged that the mentor role will vary from riding track work alongside new Probationers, working closely with them to prepare for race day riding, and travelling the country to attend races and provide practical feedback and support to Apprentice Jockeys on raceday.
The mentor will be an integral member of the Industry Training Team, and will work closely with the tutors of apprentice schools around the country.