Welcome to the second instalment of our Rising Stars Series. We interview Conditional and Amateur Jockey’s who are making their way in the sport, today we bring you Harrison Shaw, who is an Apprentice with Mick Easterby. Harrison’s story is very interesting and I will let the interview do the talking….
My first memory would be going to the races with my Grandma and Grandad as a young boy. My Grandad owned a few horses at the time and that’s where my addiction started. I always loved going to the races but due to an allergy to horses I thought I would never be able to be involved in racing. However when my sister got bought a pony for her birthday and I jumped on at the age of 11, a jockey is what I wanted to be.
Can you tell us about your journey into becoming a Jockey?
I didn’t ride until I was about 11 years old. My sister got bought a pony for her birthday and I decided one day to have a go. I instantly caught the bug and started riding on a daily basis. I did show jumping for 5-6 years, in that time I was very lucky and managed to own a great mare called Nora who took me up and down the country winning wherever she went. I had a need for speed and was ultra competitive, the thought of losing makes me sick. Alongside my A levels I started riding at sue smiths which was only a few miles down the road from my family home. When I finished my A levels I went to work there full time but I was to light to become a jump jockey. I had become friendly with Kevin Ryan’s daughter , Amy Ryan who was a regular on the show jumping circuit and she encouraged me to work for her father. I did a year there and learnt how to ride racehorses as the difference from the show jumpers is huge. I learnt lots there and it was a good starting place for me. I moved to Mick Easterby’s in October 2017 in order to become an apprentice and rode my first race on 11 February 2017.
What was your first winner and where?
My first winner was a horse called black grass at Ripon racecourse. I dead heated for the win with David Egan who was riding for Ruth Carr.
How are you finding the early mornings and race riding?
I don’t really mind the early mornings, the summer is easier than the winter but when your waking up to do something you love every morning it’s no hassle. Race riding is great, I get to travel all over the country and ride alongside some of the best jockeys in the world. What more could a lad want ?
You are learning your trade with Mick Easterby. How are you finding it?
I don’t think there are many better places in the country where you can get as good of a grounding than at Mick’s. You learn lots on a daily basis and the boss has more knowledge than any of us will ever know. I’m very lucky that the boss has given me plenty of opportunity’s and although we ride plenty at home, we are rewarded with plenty of rides on the track.
Who has been your biggest Inspiration?
I think my biggest inspiration would have to be Ryan Moore. He is the ultimate professional and a great role model for young lads like myself.
Do you have a long term targets?
I would love to ride my claim out. That would be first and foremost. Everyone dreams of being champion jockey but I would be delighted to ride a winner at York one day. It’s my local track and it would have to be my favourite the atmosphere there is second to none.
Can you give us a couple of horses to follow please?
One horse I think would be worth keeping an eye on is Ganton Par. He is a 3 year old gelding by frozen power. He was very green last year and after a winter holiday has come back a much stronger and mature horse, I really like the look of him. We also have a few nicely bred 2 year olds on the yard his year. We have a colt by Lope de Vega out of the famous Date With Destiny. Date With Destiny was the only foal of George Washington so he’s a very exciting prospect and is showing good early signs at home.
I would like to say a big thank you to Harrison for his time and wish him all the success in the future. It is really refreshing to hear from an apprentice, who wants to be Champion Jockey in the future. I wish you all the luck in the world and look forward to seeing you plenty of times in the winner’s enclosure.
Rich Williams – arseonlinetips