Bridget Andrews wins March Jockey of The Month

News | 6th April 2023

Expert judge Richard Johnson, the four-times champion jockey, was ultra impressed with the 29-year-old’s ride on Faivoir in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Bridget Andrews has been awarded Great British Racing’s jockey of the month for March.

The 29-year-old delivered  an ultra-cool ride in one of the most competitive handicaps of the season, the County Hurdle. Bridget and 33/1 Faivoir settled towards the rear in the early stages before making progress turning for home. The pair battled their way through rivals into a challenging position and then got the better of a thrilling finish with Irish raider Pied Piper up the famous Cheltenham run-in.

Bridget said: “I was a bit further back than I’d hoped to be but he seemed happy. We were in amongst it all but he travelled well and jumped great. He didn’t see a hurdle but he never missed a beat.

“Having to pick our way through and passing horses helped a lot. I just thought if I could get him in contention I knew I’d have a chance. Once I got the rail and got upsides Davy Russell, I was fairly confident he would put his head down where it matters.”

It was Bridget’s second win the County Hurdle. She had ridden Mohaayed to victory in the prestigious handicap five years earlier. Bridget added: “I’d accepted I probably wouldn’t ride another Festival winner. I was just so grateful to have one winner there and when we crossed the line I was like ‘has that actually happened?’

Faivoir and Bridget Andrews

“I think I enjoyed this one more than my first just because I remembered to take it all in. It’s amazing – there’s no place like Cheltenham. It’s really nice having that long walk back to the winners’ enclosure with all the crowd cheering. It’s a special place.

“You really feel it in the weighing room as well. Every one of my colleagues came up to me and said well done. It was a great day.” Faivoir capped a superb week for Bridget as her husband, fellow jockey Harry Skelton, had won the Coral Cup two days earlier on Langer Dan. They are both trained by her brother-in-law Dan Skelton.

The victory came just 11 months after Bridget fractured three vertebrae in her neck in a crunching fall at Warwick. She spent six months out of action before returning to race riding in the autumn.

Not the only family member grabbing the headlines

Bridget wasn’t the only member of the Andrews family in the spotlight during the Cheltenham Festival. Her younger brother Jack was splashed on the front pages of some of the papers despite pulling up on Anightinlambourn in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup for amateur jockeys.

The 6ft 4ins rider was declared the ‘tallest jockey in the world’ as the media circus focussed on the 24-year-old. Bridget said: “I’ve no idea why they suddenly cottoned on to it. His phone never stopped ringing with the papers and all these different radio stations.

“It was mad but he’s doing really well considering how tall he is.”

Our judge Richard Johnson was suitably impressed with Bridget’s Cheltenham Festival performance. He said: “I thought Bridget’s ride on Faivoir was very good for a number of reasons. “She broke her neck at the end of last season and had a long time off. Just to come back from that alone is a hard thing to do.

“The County Hurdle a really hard race to get right. She gave the horse a great ride and timed her run to perfection. It was a top-class ride and to come back from breaking her neck was a fantastic thing to do.

“To have any Cheltenham Festival winner for a jockey is a huge achievement and she’s now twice won the County Hurdle. It shows she comes good on the big occasions.”


Rate your season out of 10 so far?

Eight. I’m down on the number of winners but any season you get a Festival winner is a good one. I also won the Lanzarote Hurdle on West Balboa and it came off the back of a pretty rough six months with the injury.

The horse you’re most excited about riding next?

I’m hoping Faivoir will go to Aintree. Obviously, being second jockey behind Harry, I don’t get the pick of the rides but anything in those big handicaps at Aintree I’d be looking forward to riding.

What is your favourite racecourse?

Warwick. It’s local to us and it’s a great track. I’ve had plenty of luck around there bar, of course, breaking my neck there last season.

If you weren’t a jockey what would you be?

Probably something still to do with horses. If not, something to do with children, maybe a nanny. I didn’t stay at school long enough to do any proper job.

Who is your sporting hero?

I grew up watching AP McCoy, Barry Geraghty, Ruby Walsh and all those top jockeys. I aspire to be like them and I rode with them all for a good few years. I actually rode in AP’s last race and it was nice to share the weighing room with them for a little bit.

Tell us about your chosen charity and why you have chosen it.

I’m going to give my charity donation to the Alder Hey Children’s Charity in Liverpool. Having visited the hospital while riding up at Aintree, you see how vital the charity is to the lives of so many children and their families.