WEST Sussex based amateur rider Jody Sole extended his impressive record in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup Chase for amateur riders at Sandown on Friday. He continued his successful partnership with champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls when winning the 2015 race on Friday with Cowards Close.
He tracked the leaders with the eight-year-old Presenting gelding, taking the lead at the 19th fence in the three mile chase to win by just over two lengths. He was presented with the prestigious trophy by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Last year at the Royal Artillery Gold Cup meeting at Sandown he won the opening amateur riders’ hurdle race on 4-1 shot Old Way trained by Venetia Williams, receiving the trophy from HRH The Princess Royal.
Jody, who holds the rank of Lance Bombadier from his five years in the Kings Troop, said he was delighted to win that particular race, because he had won all the other races for military riders at this meeting over the years- although he had waited a few years to win the set.
Three years ago Jodie also won the 150th running of the Grand Military Chase on board Merrion Square and received the trophy from the Princess Royal. He also fulfilled a long-standing ambition of riding round Aintree fences in the Foxhunters Chase on board Gwanako finishing a good sixth out of 26 runners.”It was an outstanding experience and something I had always wanted to do,” he said.
His first race was at Larkhill Point to Point in the Kings Troop Race in 1998 where he won on board a Gun Team horse called Henley, and went back to win the same race the following year.
Later he rode Archie Oates in the Sandown Royal Artillery Gold Cup for Jon Trice-Rolph and finished in fifth place. As the first serving artillery man part the post, he won the Ron Holman Cup which was presented to him by the Queen Mother. When he left the army he joined Greta Saxon’s show jumping and eventing yard and later rode in point to points, where he has ridden at least one winner every season.
His first ride for Paul Nicholls, then also champion trainer, came in 2012 on board Gwanako in the Queen Mother Memorial Chase at Sandown, winning easily by two and three quarter lengths. In 2013 they teamed up again to win the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Memorial Hunter Chase by 17 lengths and also took the Royal Artillery Gold Cup in February that year by eight lengths.
Jody had been brought up with horses, living in Rusper outside Horsham, going through pony club and riding club levels until he joined the Kings Troop for five years at the age of 18, achieving the rank of Lance Bombadier.
He has a horse of his own for competing in point-to-points, Theophrastus, which he rode to win at last year’s Crawley and Horsham Hunt point-to-point.
His business- JS Equestrian Services is now based in spacious premises at Dragons Stud, Dragons Green in West Sussex where he has 20 boxes for liveries and his own horses, a 20×60 outdoor schooling area with an estate to ride through and he caters for a full range of equestrian needs including competing, schooling, liveries as well as point to point training.