Young jockey from Wymondham celebrates his first win
Years of hard work have paid off for one young jockey, who is celebrating his first professional race win.
Eighteen-year-old Jacob Mitchell, from Wymondham, was first past the post in a race at Southwell in Nottinghamshire.
Mr Mitchell said he was thrilled with the result of the on January 30 race, in which he rode nine-year-old horse Regarde Moi.
He said: 'I was over the moon. It's a real weight off my chest.
'It was a tough race and there were a couple of other horses also in it that he has a lot of competition with.'
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The race was Mr Mitchell's seventh since he started in November.
Mr Mitchell discovered his passion for horse riding when he was 12, when he started spending his weekends at a small stable in Besthorpe run by Sue Ledger. His talent was later nurtured by trainer James Fanshawe in Newmarket.
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In 2015 he followed his dream and became an apprentice jockey to Marco Botti, who is also based in the famous horse racing town.
Before that Mr Mitchell had studied at Wymondham High Academy.
Mr Mitchell said: 'We used to go to the races a coupe of times a year, but I never really liked horses very much when I was younger.
'But as we say in racing, I bit the bug. I fell in love with it and that's when I started to learn to ride.
'At first I was doing the ground work - mucking out and stuff. Then they taught me how to ride a pony, and eventually I got to start riding proper race horses.'
The life of an apprentice jockey doesn't leave much time for anything else.
Mr Mitchell said his working day started at 5.30am every morning, and he practiced his riding skills until about midday.
He said: 'I'll then go and see my coach and do some work on the Equicizer - that's a mechanical horse.
'Then I have to go back to work for two or three hours until 6pm. In the evening it's looking after the horses - doing them up and brushing them down. Then after that I'll be in the gym until 7.30pm.'
Mr Mitchell has only one day off out of every 14, and even on that day he often still rides.
At 5ft 10in, he's tall for a jockey, but Mr Mitchell said he was able to keep his weight under control - he weighs 8st 4lb.