Mum is still number one for top jockey

By STEVE SPINKS

JOSHUA JONES is old enough to race 500kg of thoroughbred horse flesh but not old enough to drive.

So he usually relies on the most reliable form of transportation: Mum.

Tintenbar's Julia Jones was one proud mother yesterday when her son claimed the Northern Rivers jockey premiership double.

"It's pretty exciting," Julia said.

"He's come a long way in a short time.

"He's been lucky to have Stephen (Lee) to look after him and teach him a lot."

Julia encouraged Joshua's love of horses from an early age.

"I was into horses and all that sort of thing and I got back into it after I had children," she said.

"I got him a pony when he was little and he decided he wanted to ride more in shows and showjumping."

National and State Championships followed as well as a seven-year unbeaten run as the champion rider at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.

However, during a showjumping championship in Ipswich an off-the-cuff remark by a judge changed the Jones' direction.

"A judge who was mixed up with racing said Josh should look into racing because he could make a living off of it," Julia said.

An enquiry to trainer Stephen Lee soon saw the youngster riding track work at Ballina as a 14-year-old.



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