Jamie Spencer (born 8 June 1980) is an Irish flat racing jockey currently riding in the UK. He has been champion jockey in both Ireland and Britain and has won four classics, two in each country. Spencer is widely regarded as one of the best, and most naturally talented, UK-based Jockeys. He is an advocate for the art of holding up horses late into the races, and then making use of their natural dash of speed.
On the 21st of August 2014 Spencer announced he would retire from race riding at the end of the current season and would take up a position in Sheikh Farhad Al Thani's stables as an advisor but later changed his mind and decided to continue riding.
Son of former County Tipperary National Hunt trainer George Spencer, who trained Winning Fair to win the Champion Hurdle in 1963, Jamie Spencer came to horse riding relatively late in childhood. He made rapid progress and was just 17 when he won his first classic, the 1998 Irish 1,000 Guineas on Tarascon, in the process becoming the youngest jockey to win a classic. He was champion apprentice in Ireland the following year with 46 winners. Spencer was educated at Kilkenny College.
Spencer's mercurial talents, coupled with riding Brian Boru to victory in the 2003 St Leger at Doncaster for O'Brien, led to him briefly becoming stable jockey for Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle. While in that job, he was Irish flat racing Champion Jockey in 2004, with 93 winners. After O'Brien and Spencer parted company, he was replaced as stable jockey in 2005 by Kieren Fallon. Spencer moved to Britain, where he was British flat racing Champion Jockey in 2005, with 180 winners.
In January 2010, Spencer signed a contract to ride as retained jockey for Mrs Fitri Hay, whose principal trainer is Paul Cole, with other horses trained by Stan Moore and Tom Tate. In 2010, the trainers for whom Spencer rode most frequently were Michael Bell, Kevin Ryan and Paul Cole. The Hay contract saw him riding again for Aidan O'Brien after she bought shares in multiple Group 1 winners Fame And Glory and Cape Blanco, both of whom continued to be trained by O'Brien. Spencer's wins for O'Brien in the Hay colours included the 2011 Ascot Gold Cup on Fame And Glory.
Jamie Spencer is well known for his tactic of keeping horses well towards the back of the field and coming with a late run. Spencer was retained by Qatar Racing in 2013 and they have teamed up for many wins already including the Irish 1000 Guineas.
At the end of August 2014 Spencer stating family reasons announced he would retire from race riding at the end of the 2014 season and would take up a role as a special advisor at Qatar Racing's stable. In December 2014 he reversed that decision and announced he would continue riding as a freelance jockey.
Spencer married Channel 4 Racing presenter Emma Ramsden in February 2005 and they have three children, Charlie, Chloe and Ella. They divorced in 2010 after reports in the media that Spencer was involved in an affair with jockey Hayley Turner.
Since the incident Emma Spencer refused to interview Turner in 2010 but has since reversed her decision and interviews Turner after winning races.
- "Jamie Spencer". National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
- Jamie Spencer Jockey Profile Back-Strait.com
- Horse Racing Statistics - All Irish and UK Races, Horses, Jockeys, Trainers and Owners | Racing Post
- Armytage, Marcus (8 January 2010). "David Evans leads the way in all-weather racing". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "Jamie Spencer: Former champion jockey abandons plan to retire". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 December 2014.