I am delighted to have been chosen as one of the jockeys for this year’s Corinthian Challenge. Originally set up in 2016, the Corinthian Challenge aims to raise funds for The Irish Injured Jockeys - a cause extremely close to my heart and of which my family were unfortunate to have had first hand experience.
I have been working for Noel Meade for the last 6 years, and i am originally from the small village of Kilmessan in Co Meath. Horses have always played a huge part in my life. I, along with my elder brother Jason, hunted and pony raced from an early age - Jason going on to ride over 1,000 winners under rules in the UK and Ireland, and of course culminating in his win of the Grand National in 2011 On Ballabriggs. His career was to be brought to a premature end with a life threatening fall at Stratford on the Monday of Cheltenham week in 2014.
Jason’s injuries were soon found to be life threatening with his liver and sternum rupturing causing severe internal bleeding, as well as serious spinal injuries. He was treated immediately at the track by the fantastic medical team there, needing to be resuscitated twice before being flown to Coventry Hospital where he stayed in intensive care for 10 days.
Although no longer able to ride, after 3 spinal operations he now has a successful career working alongside owners Paul & Clare Rooney. None of this would have been possible, but for the tireless and selfless work of all of those at the Injured Jockeys Fund providing the vital rehabilitation for Jason to get back on his feet.
To show mine and my family’s appreciation I am therefore delighted to be riding in the Corinthian Challenge. Having race ridden once before, finishing 3rd, in the TG4 TV Series Eile in 2013 - and i am sure my family will be hoping I go two places better this time!
The Challenge involves riding 3 different horses at 3 different racecourses -
Sunday 22nd July at The Curragh Racecourse.
Sunday 22nd September at Navan Racecourse.
Saturday 27th October at Leopardstown racecourse.
My training has started in earnest, and I hope to do my family, friends, and supporters proud, with the aim of raising €10,000 in 6 months for the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.
I would be extremely grateful of any donation, or support of my efforts to help the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund help other jockeys in need.
Donations can be made directly to myself in cash, or by cheque (with receipts provided).
Thank you so much for reading my story. Hoping to see you at a Racecourse soon.... cheering me on!!