We are delighted to bring you an Interview with Trevor Ryan, the Conditional Jockey, who has had a couple of spells in the UK & now rides back in Ireland. Trevor, has saddle & will travel……
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?
I was born and raised in Borrisoleigh, co Tipperary , which is 8 miles from Thurles racecourse.
I was born into horses with my father, who was once a jockey and my uncle Stephen Ryan, training a small string of horses.
What is your first memory of Racing?
I can’t remember where it was but the late J T McNamara, who was riding a horse for my uncle at a P2P
Did you always want to be a jockey? If not, what career were you thinking of?
I always wanted to ride horses of some description. I did a lot of hunting and show jumping when I was younger. The show jumping didn’t last long as I got board easily!
How long have you been a Conditional Jockey?
I turned conditional when I went to the UK for a job with Steve Gollings. Unfortunately soon after starting his main jumps owner pulled his horses and moved them away.
That didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone for me so I moved on to Sue Smiths at the end of the season.
Do you have a racing hero or an Inspiration?
Growing up J T Macnamara and Ruby Walsh were real heroes of mine.
What was you route into racing & how did your conditional position come about?
I began riding p2ps while I was with Enda Bolger after leaving school. As I was very light I thought I’d give turning a go as I wasn’t getting a whole pile of rides.
Can you remember your first ride & were you nervous?
My first ride was at our local P2P in Nenagh for Jim Flaherty on a horse called Lost Post. It was over in a flash….. We were brought down at the first.
After how many rides did you get your first winner and what did that feel like?
My first winner was for Enda Bolger in a P2P at Dromahane On a horse called Freneys Well. The horse was owned by J P McManus, so it was very special having my first winner in those colours.
It was great as both my parents were there the same day.
You have recently lost your 7Lb claim, You must consider this a Major milestone?
Yes I was over the moon so get down to 5lbs. It seamed like it would never happen for a while and I would carry the (7) to the grave with me.
Did you set any targets at the start of the season?
At the start of the season I wasn’t even riding out and was planning on going back to school. So I had no targets then.
After I did ride a couple of winner’s around midsummer time, I said if I didn’t have 10 winners by end of season it wouldn’t be worth my while, I guess I’ve hit that as a target.
Have you had many injuries?
I’ve been a bit unlucky in injuries not all through racing though. My worst being breaking my T7, T8 & T9 vertebrae in a bad car crash four years ago. I didn’t sit on a horse on a horse for close to 6 months after.
I probably should have given it longer but I was broke and couldn’t claim benifits in Ireland or UK so was living off my savings.
What has been you favourite ride of the season?
I’d say winning on a horse called Chapel Field at Fairyhouse would definitely be the most satisfying. He was a horse we knew had plenty of ability but had little niggley issues all the previous season.
All the team at Willie Austins did a great job getting him right. It was fantastic for his owner William Burns, who landed a nice punt on the day. After breeding him and keeping him for 7 years, it was a long wait so I was delighted to play a little part in it all.
If you could ride ANY horse PAST or PRESENT, who would it be and why?
It would have to be either Sprinter Sacre or Denman. The class and speed of Sprinter Sacre was amazing , along with the whole fairy tale of his road back from his heart issues was amazing.
The way Denman carried those weights in the Hennessy and how he galloped Grade 1 horses into the ground in the Gold Cup he won, was just mind blowing.
Can you give our readers a horse or 2 to keep an eye on for the future?
Gallowglas is a horse I won a bumper on last summer. He hasn’t been seen since with a couple of little niggley problems that took a while to come right. He schooled well over hurdles and if he can stay right, he will be a good novice hurdler on good ground for the spring and summer..
We would like to thank Trevor, for his time & all the best for the future with losing his claim in the not to distant future.
Interview by Rich Williams
Photos – Trevor Ryan(Except Sprint Sacre- File)