The George Mernagh Memorial Fund (GMMF) have announced a new subsidy and bursary programme to encourage qualified riders (amateur jockeys) into racing.
The programme is open to riders both in the industry and beyond with the appropriate experience to become a qualified rider and enjoy the many benefits that go with it.
All aspiring jockeys who take out their qualified riders license will qualify for the GMMF subsidy, which will include €200 towards the licensing cost and a sponsored racing kit bag.
In addition, there will be a number of one-off bursaries, available to newly licensed qualified riders which will include, covering the cost of the licence along with a helmet and back protector. Equuip, Horse Racing Ireland’s education, training, and people welfare division, will manage the bursary programme and the application process.
The George Mernagh Memorial Fund was set up in memory of the former jockey and Tattersalls Ireland Chief Executive who passed away from cancer in July 2011. From County Wexford, George studied at Rockwell Agricultural College in Cashel and graduated into racing via eventing and the point-to-point field. He rode for four years as a qualified rider and five as a professional, riding more than 70 winners in that time.
George joined Tattersalls Ireland in 1989 as Bloodstock Manager and was appointed to the Tattersalls Ireland board in 1999 before taking the reins from Liam Dunne as Managing Director in July 2007.
Richard Pugh, Tattersalls Ireland Director and former qualified rider, said: “George Mernagh was a shining example of someone who maximised the opportunity which becoming a qualified rider offers. Following a period as a qualified rider in point-to-points, an inevitably successful career as a professional followed. From there his career progressed further to becoming the Managing Director of Tattersalls Ireland.
“In no other sport can you change in the same changing rooms and compete with professionals on the very same playing pitch whilst retaining amateur status, so it seems fitting that this initiative, developed in his memory, will afford the opportunity for many more riders to enjoy the QR benefits both in the saddle and beyond.”
Aine O’Connor, Co-ordinator at equuip and qualified rider, commented: “Equuip are honoured to support the George Mernagh Memorial Fund subsidy and bursary for qualified riders. We understand that financial limitations can often hinder talented individuals from taking out a license to advance in their careers.
"Through this initiative, we aim to bridge this gap and provide support to those who demonstrate potential and dedication. Equuip are committed to fostering growth and development in the industry and this initiative holds immense significance for us.”
What does it involve?
- All riders who are receiving a QR license for the first time will qualify for the GMMF subsidy which will include €200 towards the cost of their license and a branded jockey kit bag. Qualified Riders will automatically receive the €200 subsidy into their HRI account to cover the remaining fees associated with being granted a category A1/A3 QR license.
- Once newly licensed Qualified Riders have obtained their Category A1/A3 licence, they are eligible to apply for the George Mernagh Memorial Fund Bursary through the button below.
- The €600 restricted bursary will be granted at the discretion of equuip, to suitable and eligible applicants, to contribute towards the cost of race riding equipment once the application forms are returned. Terms and conditions apply.
To apply click HERE