Sean Bowen - Marching Towards The Title

Features | 29th November 2023

The Welshman has always been considered a potential future champion jockey

The Champion Jockey Allergic To Horses?

The 26-year-old has a commanding lead in this season’s title race as he attempts to join riding greats like Sir AP McCoy, Richard Johnson and Peter Scudamore on the prestigious roll of honour. It’s a role he was born into as a son of successful Pembrokeshire trainer Peter Bowen, but a career as a jockey might have been over before it even started. 

He developed a severe allergy to horse hair as a child. Despite learning to manage the intolerance to the animals that, to most racing fans, he would appear to be at one with in races, he can still suffer sneezing fits if he ventures too close when they are being brushed or clipped. 

It certainly didn’t put him off wanting to pursue a career as a jump jockey. It’s all he ever wanted to do. After success on the pony racing circuit, he took to point-to-points where he won the Wilkinson Sword title for leading novice rider in the UK. It was there that his talents were spotted by champion trainer Paul Nicholls. With such powerful backing, Sean became the youngest champion conditional rider when just 17- years-old.

Happy Jockey

The Welsh Wave

He was well on the way to establishing himself as a fully-fledged professional jockey and he was soon picking up rides for some of the country’s leading trainers. Sean won two Grade 2 novice chases on Nicholls’ top-class Cyrname in 2018, the same year his younger brother James followed in his footsteps to land the conditional jockeys’ title. 

The brothers Bowen now form part of a significant band of Welsh jump jockeys. Along with Jack Tudor, Conor Brace, Alan Johns, Ben Jones, Richard Patrick and others, south and west Wales has become a real hotbed of riding talent. Sean is the leader of the pack and he was recently crowned National Hunt Jockey of the Year at the Welsh Horse Racing Awards night. 

He has passed the century-winners mark for the season as he relentlessly charges towards becoming champion jockey, something he dreamed of as a teenager playing the Playstation game G1 Champion Jockey with his brothers.

Father And Son

Loving The Job

After finishing runner-up behind Brian Hughes in last year’s title race with a personal-best 125 winners, he has set a scorching pace in pursuit of the honour to call himself champion jockey. 

He said: “It’s gone absolutely brilliantly. I’ve got good trainers to ride for, I’ve plenty of support and hopefully it continues. “I go to the races bouncing every day. I do love my job. That definitely helps me to succeed and work that bit harder. 

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is ride. When I was 13 or 14 I would ride as many horses as possible as the hours of daylight allowed.”

Nothing seems to have changed there. Not only has he ridden more winners than anyone else, he has had more rides. Sean’s tie up with Warwickshire trainer Olly Murphy has helped him become the busiest jump jockey this season. 

He’s also enjoyed plenty of support from his dad Peter and Irish trainer Gordon Elliott. With hard work, a huge amount of talent and a genuine love of race-riding, Sean has the perfect ingredients needed to be Champion Jockey.

Jump Jockey's Championship