x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Visa problems lead jockey to leave UK

A Dubai jockey, who rode to victory at Royal Ascot, has left the UK after he was detained over irregularities with his visa.

Ahmed Ajtebi, who has left the UK after he was detained over visa irregularities.
Ahmed Ajtebi, who has left the UK after he was detained over visa irregularities.

LONDON // A Dubai jockey who recently rode to victory at Royal Ascot has left the UK after he was detained over irregularities with his visa. Ahmed Ajtebi, 26, an apprentice who rose to prominence in Britain when he rode Regal Parade to win the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, was detained at the Home Office's Harwich immigration centre on Thursday evening after being arrested by the UK Border Agency.

Ajtebi's victory at the Berkshire course may have alerted the Home Office to his status and forced them to investigate his eligibility. One of Ajtebi's legal representatives told The National yesterday "Ahmed left himself, he was not removed forcibly. "The activity of horse-riding requires a special visa. He was a holder of a visit visa, which was not considered appropriate." Ajtebi, who is a cousin of the leading owner Saeed Manana, was attached to Clive Brittain's yard for the duration of his stay in Europe, but also rode for the Newmarket-based David Simcock, as well as for David Nicholls, who is based in North Yorkshire. He rode 10 winners in all.

He has recently competed in South Africa and Australia and had hoped to stay in the UK until September. Mr Brittain told the Racing Post on Friday: "It's sickening. Someone comes into the country and does such a good job and then this happens. "He is an absolutely charming guy, and a great ambassador for Dubai." The young jockey started his career riding camels and at the age of 15. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, suggested he should take up horse jockeying, according to reports in the racing press.

* The National