Jockey Jan

Jan Wilson Memorial Award Celebrates Rider’s 20th Birthday on Saturday 1st of May 2010

Pony Racing AuthorityThe Jan Wilson Memorial Award is launched today by The Pony Racing Authority to coincide with what would have been Jan’s 20th birthday on 1st May.  The Award, in memory of the young jockey tragically killed with Jamie Kyne in a fire last September, celebrates the life of Jan and her passion for racing, and will give one young rider aged 14-15 years the opportunity to develop their career in the saddle, something which Jan had successfully done before her untimely death.

The points based Award, funded by the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund, is for riders participating in Northern and Scottish based fixtures of the 2010 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.  The new Award will encourage riders to compete more often on the Northern circuit, which is where Jan enjoyed her career, and will help prepare them for a career in racing.    

The Rider accumulating the most points and winning the inaugural Jan Wilson Memorial Award will receive a perpetual trophy, personalised racing breeches, boots and saddle supplied by Gibsons Saddlers and P H Kinglsey Ltd, both companies that supported Jan when she was a jockey.  Media training will also be offered together with a placement at a Trainer’s yard of choice and personal tuition at the Northern Racing College, where Jan herself benefited from equicisor training.

Margaret Wilson, Jan’s Mother, says: “Jan would have been 20 years old this Saturday and this new Pony Racing Award in memory of Jan is a positive way to mark the occasion.  Jan loved racing and I am delighted to offer our support to young riders like Jan starting out on their careers.  If you want good jockeys we have to help them on the road.  It was important to me that the Award is something Jan would have wanted to win herself and I am sure she will be watching down on these young riders following their dream like Jan did.  This is for Jan.”

Rebecca Morgan, Chief Executive of The Pony Racing Authority, comments: “The PRA Board is proud and honoured to introduce the Jan Wilson Memorial Award, at a particularly poignant time for Jan’s family and friends.  Her untimely death was a tragedy felt by all in racing and I hope Pony Racing can do her memory proud in offering this new Award in her name.  The Award is specifically aimed at encouraging young riders based in the north, and to reward those aged 14 and 15 years who we feel will benefit most from the prize on offer.  I have worked closely with Margaret Wilson, who has acted with dignity and determination to introduce this Award in memory of her young daughter, to create a fitting and meaningful Award for Jan.”

Jan InterviewThe memorial fund set up by Jan’s parents has joined the Pony Racing Authority (PRA) to establish an award for teenagers who share the apprentice’s dream of a career in the saddle.

As a harrowing narrative emerged at Leeds Crown Court in the case over the deaths of Jan and fellow jockey Jamie Kyne in a North Yorkshire flat fire last September, her parents said yesterday they were proud to announce an award celebrating their daughter’s memory which would hopefully motivate other youngsters to fulfil their dreams.

The idea for a Pony Racing Award was suggested to Margaret Wilson by Christine Barron from Maunby House, Thirsk.  Jan Wilson used to have a lunch time job from the Boss to help out their neighbour’s children, Philippa and William Hill, with their ponies.  Jan’s advice and encouragement with the young riders helped them achieve success in the saddle both Eventing and Pony Racing and it was felt an Award in Jan’s memory for Pony Racing would be both relevant and fitting to Jan given her interest in helping other young riders develop and improve.



The Jan Wilson Memorial Award will be contested by 14- and 15-year-old riders in Northern and Scottish fixtures of the Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.

It aims to encourage riders to compete more often on the Northern circuit, where Jan enjoyed racing.
The rider with the most points—winning the inaugural award—will receive a perpetual trophy and personalised racing breeches, boots and saddle from Gibsons Saddlers and P.H. Kingsley Ltd, both of whom supported the teenager.
The package also includes media training, a placement at a trainer’s yard of choice and tuition at the Northern Racing College, where Jan received equicisor training.

Her mother, Margaret, said yesterday, “Jan would have been 20 years old this Saturday and this new Pony Racing award in her memory is a positive way to mark the occasion.

“Jan loved racing and I am delighted to offer our support to young riders like Jan, starting out on their careers.”

She added, “It was important to me that the award is something Jan would have wanted to win herself and I am sure she will be watching down on these young riders following their dream like Jan did.

“This is for Jan.”
Jan Winning at Ayr
PRA chief executive Rebecca Morgan said, “The PRA board is proud and honoured to introduce the Jan Wilson Memorial Award, at a particularly poignant time for Jan’s family and friends.”

The Jockey Jan Memorial Fund has raised over £10,000 and supports projects including clubs which the former Forfar Academy pupil was involved in.

Please see and in particular where you will note the Award is now fully on our website.  I will update the scores after each fixture.

Jockey Jan and the Patchwork Cottage Girls

Today I visited the Patchwork Cottage Girls at Plovermuir By Kirriemuir organised by Mrs Lorna Johnston they asked if they could make a quilt in memory of Jan and support the J J M F, I thought it was a lovely idea and so thoughtful and as you can see beautiful. Now its what to do with it other quilts are raffled or auctioned of for charity, I myself would like it hung some place where people can see it and remember Jan and Jamie two young kids that were taken from us so tragically, maybe someone could make a donation to the fund and donate it to a race course or the North Oaksey House when it gets built. I’m up for suggestions.







In June 2015 when we were down at the opening of The Jack Berry House by HRH Princess Anne.  I left the lovely Quilt that the Patchwork cottage girls so kindly made for the JJM Fund back in 2010. At the time it was our thoughts for it to be hung up at a place like the now named Jack Berry House. At the end of August 2015, I received a letter from Jack Berry he said “ the lovely bed spread that was given to the J B House was sold at auction at Jack & Jo Berry’s Injured Jockey Fund party Fish and Chip Lunch, you will be pleased to know it was bought by Trainer John Wade for £380". All funds going to the I J F. Many thanks to Mr Wade and the ladies at Patchwork Cottage.




Tributes to Jan

The Purpose of the Jockey Jan Website

The Purpose of the Jockey Jan Website

As from the 1st of September 2010 we are pleased to announce that the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund has become a Registered Scottish Charity, charity number SC041749 for further information it can be seen on website at

Drew and I thank all who have supported us in this terrible tragedy and hope they will continue to support the many things that Jan was involved in through out her short life in the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund Charity. As of today 5th September over £25,300.00 has been collected.

This money has been raised by the things you see on this website and through the generosity of people in and out of racing, the sport that Jan brought us into which we also begun to enjoy and love like Jan. At the start of this tragedy we were helped by the Racing Welfare’s Paul Lodge and the Injured Jockey Fund’s Helen Wilson who at the start were always at the end of the phone for a chat or informed us about different things, we were offered financial help as well and turned it down, we actually gave the I J F £10,000.00 for the Jack Berry House in the North for when it is built for 2 simulator to be in Jan’s name which they have promised to do and we have also offered R W’s Terri Griffiths one for Middleham which is being thought about.

Sadly during the trial I was upset at the support that R W and especially the I J F were giving to some of the witness at the trial and felt they had forgotten about the parents that had lost their loved one’s, and who had sat through this for 4 weeks listening to the horrible way Jan had died, and how both were left, and to listen to some of the witness who has shown no respect to Jan at all, with this I then asked for anything that Jan being a apprentice Jockey was entitled to. I told them if we were given it I would put it in the J J M F to use it for kids in racing, which I was doing for Jan before this, and now with this extra money, which we have been given, I hope to do more.

By Margaret Wilson
For Jan

“Or like the snowflake in the river,

a moment shine – then melts for ever,”

Or like the rainbow’s lovely form

evanishing amid the storm” (Burns)

Jan was a gift – a chosen gift that we were privileged to enjoy for 19 years.

Her dedication, commitment and enthusiasm for her dream of racing inspired many who new her.

It is this inspiration that we now strive to harness and move forward in the name of The Jockey Jan Memorial Fund to enable and support young people to realise their dream - the dream that Jan lived.

I wanted some blank cards done for myself out of the many pictures I have taken of Jan in her short racing career, so I asked Astute in Forfar to print them. 

We thought a website was the easiest way to distribute them to allow other people to also share in Jan’s life and at the same time add to the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund which stands at £9,150.00 from donations and the sale of a DVD of Jan’s life and a sale of a cattle beast at Forfar Mart.


I was also given a picture of Jan and her first race horse Bedfellow at Hamilton from Jan last year for my birthday, as you can see it has an unusual coloured

Jockey Jan Wilson

background I call it Jan galloping through fire, this picture was the first thing I thought of after her death, and its different like Jan. Also I was given an oil painting of Jan and Imperial Sword winning at Ayr from her work colleagues at Maunby House, it was my first trip alone and Jan some how made sure I wasn’t going home alone. So these have been made into prints.

How You Can Help

These prints are available for purchase on this website in the form of gift cards or posters. Click here to Buy Online


Donations can be made direct to the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Forfar Branch, 65 East High Street, Forfar. DD8 2EP.  Phone:01307462611 or to my home address. Jockey Jan Memorial Fund, Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, By Forfar, DD8 2SB. Mob:07803499191 Phone:01307818264. E. Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Jan's Story

Young Forfar Jockey Who Lived The Dream
By Alan Ducat

A FORFAR farming couple have paid a moving tribute to their daughter who, for two years, ‘lived the dream’, rubbing shoulders with many of the top stars in the sport of kings.

Nineteen-year-old Jan Wilson was one of two apprentice jockeys who lost their lives in a fire at a block of flats in Norton, close to Malton in North Yorkshire, on 5th September 2009.

Re-running DVDs of her racing successes, glossing over countless photographs snapped at racecourses all over the country and browsing through a scrapbook of Jan’s racing highs and lows, parents Drew and Margaret Wilson, of Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, by Forfar, described how their daughter had set her heart on becoming a jockey from an early age, and how her determination to succeed drove her forward.

“She was a bubbly person and mixed with everybody,” explained Margaret. “She was also very determined and totally fearless in the saddle.

“Jan set her heart on becoming a jockey from an early age - and wouldn’t let anybody put her off that goal.

“We had suggested she got herself a proper job and that we would buy her a horse so that she could continue her show jumping, cross-country and other equestrian events.

“She made the best Yorkshire pudding I have ever seen - and we thought we could steer her into catering or something a little more secure in sport.

“But nothing could stop her from following her dream - and, although I was a little apprehensive at first, she went on to prove me wrong, and I loved every minute of it!”

Brought up on the family farm, Jan was educated at Chapelpark Primary School and Forfar Academy, playing a leading role in community life before moving south to pursue her dream career as a jockey.

At school, she was a real sporty person, taking a keen interest in athletics, particularly cross-country events.
Indeed, Margaret recalls the day, at an Angus primary schools’ cross-country event in Arbroath, when she finished second to Eilish McColgan, the daughter of former top athlete Liz McColgan.

“Jan enjoyed her athletics and was particularly keen on cross-country, so we got her to join Arbroath Athletics Club.”
But Jan’s real heart lay in the equine field, her interest spawned when, one Christmas, at the age of nine, she was given a gift of a Shetland pony.

“It was a big strong pony and a bit too strong for Jan, but then her grandfather, Angus, got her a Welshie, which she affectionately called Toffee.

“It was a ‘thrawn’ beast but Jan managed to break it in.
“She showed a knack for horsemanship from an early age, and soon grew in confidence, moving from jumping make-shift obstacles in a farm field to taking part in pony club events.”

Jan enjoyed a spell helping out at Brechin Equestrian Centre and received some lessons in return. She spent two weeks at Conchie’s Riding School at Barry for her school workers experience.

Prior to moving south to pursue her career as a jockey in the spring of 2007, she also enjoyed a number of other interests, including Highland dancing at Friockheim, membership of Forfar Young Farmers, golf and curling.

Indeed, while she spent a season as a member of Aberlemno Curling Club, there were three members of the Wilson family competing on the ice - Jan, father Drew and grandfather Angus.

Jan also found time to help out at Angus Riding for Disabled, while, also in 2007, she represented Scotland Young Farmers at the 4H-Camp in Finland.

Throughout her later secondary schooling, the focus remained on becoming a jo


ckey, so much so, that her parents managed to get her enrolled in the British Racing School, at Newmarket, on a course she passed with flying colours.

“At the end of the nine weeks that meant a guaranteed job in the industry,” added Mrs Wilson. “Jan expressed a wish to join the stables of Ferdy Murphy in Leyburn, and that’s where she went in October 2007, as a stable lass and involved in riding out work, which included schooling over hurdles and jumps.”
Drew went down to bring Jan home for Christmas and said it was a proud moment when he drove into the yard to find Jan aboard Kalahari King, one of the stable stars, and also in the company of a number of top jockeys, including Graham Lee.
In April of the next year, Jan joined the stable of Ferdy’s son, Paul, described as a good move by mother Margaret.

“Paul had a great influence on Jan’s career. He was like a brother to her and mentored her as she continued her progress.

“He explained that Jan had a great pair of hands and was able to settle horses quite easily.”
Jan’s career moved forward in the spring of 2008 when a trip to Doncaster sales saw Margaret become the owner of a horse called Bed Fellow.


“We wanted to help Jan on her way, so we went to the sales on April Fool’s Day and bought Bed Fellow.”
Her first race under rules was an eventful one, when she travelled all the way to Goodwood to partner Bed Fellow.
Jan had prepared the horse for the race that day - and it looked striking, being awarded the prize for the best turned out in the race.

Alas, the horse twice reared up in the stalls, and, as a result, Jan suffered a broken nose. But that didn’t put her off, for, although well down the field, she finished the race, flashing past the post despite struggling to see through her blood-splattered goggles.

The experience didn’t put her off, and she went on to twice finish fourth on Bed Fellow, also finishing runner-up in a charity race at Newcastle - on Goodnight Dick for Paul Murphy.


Late last year, Jan considered going to America to further her flat career, but Dean Heslop, a promising apprentice, managed to fix her up with an interview at David Barron’s Maunby stables near Thirsk.

It was in December last year that she settled into her new environment at Maunby, and, in the early part of the year she picked up two mounts for the stable in all-weather races at Southwell. She was very grateful to the owners of The Canny Dove for giving her the opportunity to ride.

But it was when Margaret decided to sell Bed Fellow to Ian Simpson, of Knowehead of Duntrune, by Dundee - a great supporter of Jan - and purchase a horse called Imperial Sword, that the young jockey’s career really took off.

Three times she rode ‘Swordie’ to victory - at Ripon, Haydock and Ayr.

Indeed, when she came from last to first and pulled clear of the field in the last 50 yards at Haydock, the commentator was heard to say “Jamie Spencer would have been proud of that finish! Spenceress.”

Her last win was at Ayr in August a very proud moment for both of us as she drove her Swordy past the finishing line
Jan was last in action at Newcastle on Monday prior to the blaze that was to claim her life, finishing down the field.

She was due to have ridden Imperial Sword again in the 5.45 pm race at Thirsk on the day she was killed - but the horse was withdrawn in the wake of the tragedy.

And, her untimely death probably robbed Jan of yet another high - for Imperial Sword’s possible future engagements included the Ayr Gold Cup, the top race at the premier flat


 racing meeting on the calendar at the west coast track.

Jan was last back home on the 17th July for the annual Kirre Show - where she was to stage an exhibition of her life as a jockey, until the weather resulted in the event’s cancellation.

In a poignant gesture, following the devastating loss of their 19-year-old daughter in such tragic circumstances, Imperial Sword, the horse on which Jan enjoyed a hat-trick of successes - at Ripon, Haydock and Ayr - has been gifted by parents Drew and Margaret to the British Racing School.

Jan’s outgoing personality, friendly manner, her ambition and competitive spirit will be missed by her family members and many friends.

She did indeed live the dream, if not for long.

“We were living her dream as well,” concluded Margaret. “And, her passing will leave a big hole in our lives. Our thoughts are also with the family of Jamie Kyne, the other young jockey who lost his life.”


Pickard chosen for first Kyne Wilson Scholarship
Sally and PaulPAUL PICKARD has been chosen as the first beneficiary of the new scholarship created by Beverley racecourse in memory of Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson, who died in the Malton fire in September. Paul Pickard: "it is a great honour" Pickard, 22, who is based with trainer Paul Midgeley, will receive a package in 2010 worth in the region of £4,000 aimed at assisting with fitness, improving confidence, raising his profile in the sport, and helping source on-going sponsorship.From January he will be sponsored by Beverley, and wear its branded logos on his riding gear, while the track is also organising a new website for him. Pickard, who finished fifth in this year's apprentice jockeys' championship with 30 winners, said: "It is a great honour to be the first recipient of the Kyne Wilson Scholarship. "Jamie was a great friend, and I rode against Jan several times, and both are sadly missed in the weighing room. I intend to do the pair of them proud and am looking forward to my association with Beverley racecourse."
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