Ashton Fischer is a young aspiring jockey currently in his second year at the South African Jockey Academy (SAJA). Despite being relatively new to the sport, he has already made great strides in his personal and professional development.
Ashton’s passion for horse racing began early in life, as he fondly recalls watching the sport on TV with his father. However, he did not initially know how to pursue a career as a jockey. “One day, I stumbled upon an advertisement in the newspaper for jockey recruitment at SAJA. I was encouraged by my parents, and I decided to apply for the programme, which ultimately led me to where I am today,” he said.
One of Ashton’s proudest achievements is his personal growth since joining the academy. Before SAJA, he admits to having poor habits such as playing video games late into the night, lacking a routine, and not taking pride in his appearance. However, since enrolling in SAJA, he has established a healthy routine, become more social, and takes better care of himself through daily exercise. This transformation highlights the holistic approach taken by SAJA to produce not only skilled jockeys but also well-rounded individuals.
Ashton credits his family as his primary support system, acknowledging their unwavering love and encouragement throughout his journey. “Their support has been integral in helping me achieve my dream of becoming a jockey. My ultimate goal is to start racing, and I am working hard every day to make it a reality,” Ashton commented.
One of the challenges Ashton faced was overcoming doubts from some of his friends who did not believe he would make it as a professional jockey. However, he persevered and continued to work hard, proving them wrong.
He expresses gratitude towards the Hollywood Foundation for sponsoring him. He recognises that bursaries are not given out to just anyone and is thankful for the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a jockey. The Foundation’s support has meant a lot to him and his family.
His advice to aspiring jockeys is the importance of hard work, having a positive mindset, and being disciplined. “Discipline is essential as it helps one stay focused on their goals and keeps them accountable for their actions. Without discipline, I believe that success is unattainable,” he added. Ashton is a determined and hardworking individual, who is committed to his passion for horse racing. His journey so far highlights the value of hard work, discipline, and having a strong support system.