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A horse is like a child - Jockey Fredericks Garoeb

Mon, 8 June 2015 05:05
by Andreas Kathindi

When the dust
settles and the
trophies are collected,
praise often goes to the
horse owners. However,
Fredricks Garoeb argues
that a jockey’s role is just
as important.
Garoeb has six horses
under his care, namely
White Pegasus, Black
Market, You Touch My
Heart, No White Flag,
Atrums and Boogy Boy.
He achieved success at the
recently- held Standard
Bank Africa Day Cup at
the Rehoboth turf club
after finishing first twice,
third and then second with
the horses White Pegasus
and Black Market,
The jockey from
Kariko Stables in Omaruru
says success can only
come after years of
gaining the horse’s trust.
“Race horses are not
like the normal stable
horses. They are wilder
and do not like to be
ridden, so it takes time to
train them. You have to
build trust with the horse.
You should give your
horse love. You should
be very gentle with him,
especially the two weeks
leading up to the race”, he
He says a jockey will
With the Brave
their first-ever Council of
Southern African Football
Associations’ (COSAFA)
Cup last week, winning
coach of the Dream Field
soccer project Abiut
Kazondunge is calling
for more academy-level
development to ensure
future successes.
Kazondunge’s school,
Martti Ahtisaari, won the
Dream Field soccer project
which was launched
by the Namibia School
Sports Union (NSSU), the
Ministry of Youth, Sports
and National Services
and Auas Motors on 30
May 2015 at the Katutura
Youth Complex.
“There are only a few
academies in the country,
fall off his horse
at least several
times before his horse
learns to trust him. Thus,
rubbing a horse between
the ears always yields a lot
affection from the animal,
signalled by the horse
closing its eyes fondly.
Garoeb has a very rigid
schedule with the horses,
one that he says he has
maintained since 1999
when he set off as a jockey
at the age of 12.
“I wake up in the
morning at five, and
remove the blanket from
the horses which I placed
on them the night before.
I then clean the stables,
while they have water
to drink. I then start to
train them once the sun
comes out and the day is
warmer,” he noted.
On average, he spends
about six hours a day with
the horses. He stresses
that giving attention to the
horse is the most crucial
factor as it’s only with
time that a horse can learn
to trust a jockey.
“A horse is like a child,
so you should treat it as
such. You should look it
directly in the eyes and
talk to it. Anything a
human being says, animals
understand, especially
those which spend time
with humans at home.
They may not be able to
show that they understand,
but you’ll see it in their
reactions. Once you have
a horse’s trust, you will
see it starts following you
around”, he added.
He stresses that he talks
to the horses, telling them
to go faster or slower in a
manner that they can get
used to. When the horse
becomes disobedient, he
commands it to stop in a
calm manner.
“You cannot be rough
with or shout at a horse.
Once I did that during a
race, and the horse got
confused and threw me off
and kicked me,” Goroeb
He says he prepares
himself weeks in advance
before each race. He
adjusts the intensity of the
training programme with
the fitness of the horse,
and also depending on
the type of race he will
be partaking in. He also
checks on the injuries of
the horse prior to a race.
“You have to always be
calm with the horse. Even
if someone made you
angry before the race, you
have to make sure you do
not show it to the horse,”
he stated.
Garoeb, commonly
referred to as Fly, says
although the salary of a
jockey is small, he uses it
to take care of his mother
and siblings, which he
says he has been doing as
soon as he started earning
He says he would
like horse-racing to grow
bigger in Namibia, and
in that way horses can
earn more money. He also
advised fellow jockeys to
stay away from alcohol
and drug abuse
“Jockeys also need
to get tested for drugs
because a lot of my fellow
jockey colleagues do that.
It’s very dangerous when
jockeys do drugs and go
and ride because they
will have accidents on the
track. A jockey will ride
badly if he’s under the
influence of a drug.
He will end up losing
the race, and the horse
owner who put up a lot
of money to get the horse
into the race will lose out
as well. You see, 90%
of the outcome of a race
is down to the jockey. A
good jockey can make a
bad horse win”, he noted.
Garoeb says the
highlight of his career
came on 30 May when he
managed to snap up first
place twice, firstly in the
D-Division 1000 metres’
race with White Pegasus,
and in the Open 1400
metres with White Pegasus
He does, however,
lament coming in second
with Black Market in the
Maiden 1400 metres’ race
as he feels he could have
“I got a late drop-off
in the race. I overfed the
horse because I thought he
was hungry, so I only got
second place,” he says.
Garoeb’s next race
will be on 4 July at the
Rehoboth July Handicap.