Justin Huxtable from Kangaroo Island has won the Caitlin Forrest 2016/17 Award as top South Australian Country and Provincial Apprentice Jockey of the Year.

KI's Justin Huxtable: Justin rode during the Kangaroo Island Cup in February, winning that day on ‘It’s Fred’. Photo: Supplied.

KI's Justin Huxtable: Justin rode during the Kangaroo Island Cup in February, winning that day on ‘It’s Fred’. Photo: Supplied.

Justin Huxtable has won the Caitlin Forrest 2016/17 Award as top South Australian Country and Provincial Apprentice Jockey of the Year, presented recently at Thoroughbred Racing SA’s annual industry Awards and Hall of Fame dinner at the Stamford Grand Hotel.

“It was still a great thrill to win,” Justin said. “I’d ridden 50 winners, so I was pretty sure I was near to the top.”

Hosted by racing.com’s Adam McGrath and race caller Terry McAuliffe, the event saw more than 300 guests gather to celebrate the achievements of the state’s top jockeys, horses, trainers, apprentices and owners.

Justin is the 17-year-old son of David and Lorraine Huxtable and has been an apprentice jockey for the past 12 months.

He is riding professionally full time and is apprenticed to the stables of Sue Jaensch in Naracoorte.

As the award is based on the number of winners achieved in the season, Justin had a pretty good idea that he’d been successful.

“It was still a great thrill to win,” Justin said. “I’d ridden 50 winners, so I was pretty sure I was near to the top.”

Justin rode during the Kangaroo Island Cup in February, winning that day on ‘It’s Fred’.

He later won the Broken Hill Cup, which was raced two weeks after the KI Cup and in fact, had four winners on that day.

Two months ago, Justin was sidelined with a fractured wrist, so he used that time well, coming home to the island to visit the family.

He went back into racing at Casterton in early September, and rode a winner for Jarrod McLean.

He’s been working on his fitness too.

“When you have an injury, your race fitness drops away really quickly, but I’m starting to regain that now,” he said.

“He’s just so passionate about being a jockey, it’s all he ever wanted to do”.

He has also recently gained his driver’s licence and bought his first car – all amazing achievements for a young man of only 17 years.

Justin’s family is very proud of his achievements, with mum Lorraine saying, “He’s just so passionate about being a jockey, it’s all he ever wanted to do”.

Islanders need to watch the racing pages – we’re sure to hear more of Justin Huxtable in the future.