29th Jun, 2022

Ex-Coventry City midfielder Jay Tabb makes becoming a jockey his next goal

Felix Nobes 28th Jun, 2019 Updated: 28th Jun, 2019

EX-COVENTRY city midfielder Jay Tabb has set his sights on becoming a jockey after conquering the piano, golf and rugby in his retirement.

The diminutive 5ft 5in playmaker, 35, played in the Premier League for Reading and graced the Ricoh Arena for two-and-a-half years from 2006.

But far from resting on his laurels since he hung up his boots in 2016, he went on to play semi-pro rugby and piano to a very high standard.

And now he has completed an intense 12-week course at the Northern Racing College, training to become a jockey and a horseman.

He and his former team mate during his time at Coventry City, Ben Turner, purchased a racehorse named Mister Miyagi – an incentive to secure the necessary qualifications to achieve his goal.

He then enrolled on the course but first had to shed two stone to be able to reach the college’s target weight of 11 stone – a whopping 28 pounds in 63 days.

He has learnt how to muck out, to groom, to tack up, to take a bridle apart and to clean it and how to ride – with most people enrolled on the course 17 years his junior.

Tabb graduated on Friday (June 21) and has secured a work placement in Minehead, Somerset, at the all conquering stables of National Hunt trainer, Philip Hobbs.

Tabb will become part of the racing staff team and will be allocated his horses which he will look after on a daily basis.

A spokesperson from the college backed him to have the tenacity and drive to achieve his eventual goal of becoming a jockey.

Reflecting on his 12-weeks at the College, Tabb said: “I’ve had an amazing time at the Northern Racing College.

“I’ve learnt to ride and to look after horses which is something I’ll never forget and will be forever grateful for.

“I’m now in a position where I can be employed by a racehorse trainer.

“I’ve learnt so much and I’m sure it will all stand me in good stead when I start at Mr Hobbs on July 7.

“I’ve had a great time and would encourage anyone who has a passion for horseracing or even just an interest in horses to go for it”.

Foundation Course manager Liz Clifton said: “He has become an accomplished rider; his motivation and determination have also inspired other learners and he has helped them to stay focused.

“We wish Jay every success in his new career and feel sure that he will continue to develop his skills as a horseman and achieve his ambition, which is to race ride”.

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