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Apprentice Apologises To Trainers

Remorse expressed after 'error'

Apprentice Jason Gates has approached the Sporting Post with a request that he be allowed to apologise unreservedly for the events that led to the recent negative comments about him in the media.

Jason Gates is led in on Go With Flo (photo: Gold Circle)

Jason Gates is led in on Go With Flo (photo: Gold Circle)

Read the background here

“I’ve had a lot of time to think about what happened and I’m really sorry for what has happened. Firstly, I would like to apologise to Mr Van Zyl. I should have come to work my ride for him and I didn’t. I’m very sorry for what I’ve done and fully understand why he took me off the ride. I hope that in future I can prove to him that I’m not lazy and hopefully once I’ve done that, he will give me a second chance.”

Jason is also very embarrassed that his mistake, and the negativity that has flowed from it, has resulted in his fellow apprentices being tainted with the same brush.

Jason Gates (photo: Facebook)

Jason Gates (photo: Facebook)

“It’s bad enough that I let Mr Van Zyl and myself down. But it really troubles me that my fellow apprentices have been labelled lazy and the Academy’s name has been dragged through the mud! It’s tough at the Academy and while we are competitive, all the apprentices are friends. So I would like to say to all the Apprentices that I am truly sorry for what I’ve done. That they  have been labelled ‘lazy’ – it’s not fair at all, as I know how hard they work to try and become the best jockey possible. I also want to apologise to Mr Carlisle, Mr Bailey, the Riding Masters and all the other staff at the Academy. I know how hard everyone works and I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given.”

Jason also said: “I want to thank Mr Van Zyl for replacing me with fellow apprentice, Khanya Sakayi, who rode an excellent race and won. I’m glad the owners didn’t suffer from my mistake and that Khanya, benefitted from my error.”

Jason also wanted to recognise all those that have supported him during this time saying: “I would also like to thank all those people who didn’t lose faith in me and have supported me during this tough time, especially Richard Fourie, Mr Kotzen and Mr Nel. I have been working very closely with top jockey Richard Fourie and we have been working a lot of horses together in Mr Kotzen’s string that are here for the season. I’ve have learnt so much, riding work with Richard Fourie,  that while we were working on the bend, it completely slipped my mind that I needed to go and work my ride for Mr Van Zyl. I know this is a rookie mistake and it won’t happen again. Mr Nel is my mentor at the Academy and no matter what mistakes I make, he always keeps me motivated and tries to ensure that I give my best in everything I do.”

Although Jason is clearly embarrassed and remorseful about his mistakes, he says that he hopes that he can learn from them..

Jason laments: “I know over the past few weeks I’ve made a lot of mistakes and let myself and trainers down. But I’m going to do my best to not make these mistakes anymore and try and become the best jockey I can.”

Ed – this statement was furnished to us with the blessing and knowledge of the Principal of the SA Jockey Academy

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13 comments on “Apprentice Apologises To Trainers

  1. Pottie says:

    The kids still young , what happened to giving the kid a second chance , I’ve no doubt that G Van Zyl made more than a few mistakes as an apprentice , if we dont make mistakes in life how do we grow and learn , the kids clearly learnt from his mistake , do the right thing Mr Van Zyl and give the kid a second chance !

  2. Mister G says:

    Yes! We all make mistakes but we have to understand the consequences of those mistakes and therefore Van Zyl did the right thing by taking him off the ride . Don’t be too soft on Jockeys and apprentices that faulter , failing which they will become untouchable and arrogant . They need to lift their game and become more professional and accountable .

  3. Brian says:

    Come on young man! It’s done. Now your work really begins

  4. Gavin says:

    Give the kid a chance

  5. Gavin van Zyl says:

    Appologies accepted no grudges.

  6. Loraine Karam says:

    Jason we all make mistakes, and it takes a man to own up to his mistakes. You will rise above this, and can become one of the best jockeys. There are people in this industry that goes about feeding the racing fraternity hogwash, and nothing happens to them. Mr Van Zyl did the right thing by not letting you ride. I can clearly see that you you have learned a valuable lesson from that, It is so refreshing to see a young man owning up to his mistake. You have shown up some seniors in this industry. I applaud you and Mr Van Zyl, as this was done to teach you discipline, and it does not mean that people should vilify you.Go on and show us all that you will become an upstanding jockey that we can all be proud of. I will shortly be working with a young man that has temporally left the industry, and i can assure you that he is also going to make us all proud. Let us all applaud the dangerous work these young men put in, to give us all pleasure of enjoying this sport with these beautiful horses, that most trainers and grooms treat so well. But what can i say, there will always be 1 or 2 bad apples in the pack…………………………………………………Loraine Karam

  7. Alberto says:

    This is bulls**t and pure bullying from arrogant old school all about me attitudes. To shame a youngster and insult these jockeys . Yes these youngsters wanna be jockeys but it requires serious commitment hard work and dedication . Let us not for once forget that people . I use to visit some of these jocks when they went through their apprentice training at the academy accommodation . Trust me they work hard flippin hard allow error and deal with it in a mature manner than to name and shame publicly what if this boy was not so strong and things did not turn out this way can u imagine this sort pressure .hmm mm makes you think hey … oh I forgot it’s not your child .

    1. Pmb says:

      It’s a public business so stuff they do or don’t do will get into the public realm.

  8. Loraine Karam says:

    Yes Pbm i certainly agree, but it definitely depends who you are? Let us all leave Jason to proof to us what he is made off.agree, but as they say the saying goes the wheel turns very slowly, and the bad apples just keeps on getting more rotten, however my late husband Paul Karam used to always say there is KARMA and their turn will come. Come on Jason i know you are going to make us all proud……… Keep your chin up, and keep up the hard work fellow team mates your fellow team mates…..Loraine Karam

  9. Bull says:

    Young man you will make mistakes .Mr G was correct in the way he acted now pick yourself up and prove to yourself and your colleagues. This was a honest mistake. Also u cannot be judged by an isolated incident make every horse u ride become a champion likewise u will be a champion on the race track. _ BULL

  10. Leonie says:

    Bad publicity can be just as good as good ! This is now your chance to pick your self up brush this incident of and learn from it. It’s certainly not a mistake that should crucify you. Every single apprentice and jockey makes mistakes and pay the price ! Sadly this is racing ! You must concentrate on learning from Richard as you said and keep your head held high … With
    mistakes we improve … All eyes on you so show yourself and the public and owners and trainers you can rise above this and move forward positively. Just remember. Not to repeat that same mistake again. Go for it and just keep working hard

  11. Eric says:

    Well and bravely said young man, just keep trying your best?👍

  12. Eric says:

    To Sam and family you are all in my thoughts and prayers for Gunters speedy recovery

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