Tabitha will always be remembered in Fenwick House as being ‘cool, calm and collected’. Her self-motivation and drive has always destined her for success and it is no wonder we are reading about her personal achievements throughout this month.
"Seeing her in the classroom, on the sports field, as well as in the house meant that I was able to witness her as a talented all-rounder in all spheres of the College. She knew exactly who she was, and how to achieve all that she had set her mind to. She was never one to shy away from hard work and was always a loyal friend to those around her. Tabitha’s tireless efforts across the years, has shaped her into the accomplished jump jockey that she has become today. She can be incredibly proud of her efforts to date, I know I certainly am."
Miss Jenna Duffield, Teacher of Biology
When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
When I first started at the College I had no idea what job I was going to do when I grew up, but was sure it would be centred around sport in some way. It wasn't until I had my first ride jump racing when I had just turned 16 that I realised racing was going to be the path I wanted to go down.
What do you do now, and what does your job involve?
I am now a jump jockey working full time in racing. I spend a lot of time travelling around both riding out for lots of different trainers, and for races. This furthest track I have ridden at so far was Perth (Scotland not Australia) but thankfully it was a winner in a valuable race, so made the 16 hour round trip well worth it!
I also run a small business from home training pointers and retraining ex racehorses to do another job after they have finished their racing careers.
What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
The most rewarding part of being a jockey is obviously winning, but the biggest satisfaction always comes when winning on a tricky horse, or a horse that I have produced and taken up through the ranks. Racing is a sport that has a lot of highs and lows, so you always have to celebrate the good days.
The most challenging part of the job is definitely the injuries! Unfortunately last year I experienced this a lot more than I would have liked. I broke my back in November requiring surgery, then managed to get race fit again in 12 weeks but then smashed my collar bone in a fall 3 weeks after coming back requiring more surgery. Thankfully I am fit again now, so hopefully it'll stay that way for a while!
What are you most proud of so far?
Proud to have represented the British team in a challenge against the Irish jockeys, but most proud of a winner I rode up at Perth on a horse that has a very big reputation in racing for being extremely quirky and difficult to win with.
What is your fondest memory of school?
Its hard to pick one moment, but I will always be grateful for all the memories I have with the amazing girls of Fenwick.
Who was your favourite teacher and why?
There are so many teachers at the college that I am thankful to for everything they taught me whilst I was there so it is very difficult to pick just one, but Miss Duffield is always a teacher I will remember as she always bought a smile to everyones face in the house in the morning. She was always so cheerful and upbeat, and was also always there if you needed a friendly face to talk to about anything.
What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst at Brighton?
Follow your dreams, if you want to do something enough and work hard enough you will achieve it. Brighton College gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
What advice you give to your 18 year old self?
Celebrate all the good days properly.