Meet the Banteer native making a big impact as a national hunt jockey 

Meet the Banteer native making a big impact as a national hunt jockey 
Cap York won for jockey Eoin Walsh in The Mansionbet Leinster National. Picture: Healy Racing.

BANTEER native Eoin Walsh burst on to the national hunt scene last year, in doing so the talented rider caught the eye of some of the country’s leading jumps trainers.

Walsh only turned conditional last term and since making that momentous decision he has never looked back.

“I am more than happy with the way last season turned out for me. I got it off to a great start, I actually won the first race of the new jumps’ year. That was obviously a brilliant way to start the new campaign.”

Walsh believes that employing the services of a good jockey’s agent is paramount if you are to enjoy a fruitful career. Just like so many of the country’s top riders in both codes he secured the services of Kinsale based agent Ruaidhri Tierney.

“I signed my self-up to Ruaidhri Tierney, I find him great to deal with, he is very hard working and is constantly on the phone to trainers all over the country getting me rides.

“It’s very important to get rides from a host of different handlers, because you never know when you will come across a good horse and that could be the makings of the season for you.”

The north Cork man is based with one of the most successful yards in the country, he is blessed to be working daily with some of the most talented national hunt horses in the sport.

“I am very lucky to be based at Noel Meade’s yard in Meath. I am leaning so much there, Mr Meade is very good to me, he gives me plenty of opportunities and is very kind letting me ride for other trainers when I am free to do so.

“The senior jockeys at the yard are also brilliant in helping me develop as a professional jockey. Sean Flannagan and Johnny Moore are great to be around, they answer every question I have for them. I am very happy where I am.”

The highlight for the young and aspiring rider was winning the Leinster National earlier this year aboard the Noel Meade trained Cap York. A field of 14 runners went to post for the €100,000 handicap chase, Walsh was seen to great effect as he steered the Gigginstown House runner to a length and a half success.

“That was a great day, to win such a valuable handicap was excellent. It was also great to ride a winner for the O’Leary’s and of course for my boss.

“The timing was superb also as it was very close to Cheltenham. That victory secured me a few rides at the Festival which I was over the moon about.”

Every jockey dreams about riding at the Cheltenham Festival, the whole experience is something they never forget, to experience it so young will stand to Walsh as he embarks on his career as a pro.

“Cheltenham was unreal, the buzz was something else.

“To go there will a few cracking rides made it all that more special. It’s an experience that will live long in my memory. Hopefully I will enjoy plenty of more rides there in the years ahead.”

Future Proof and Eoin Walsh win the MansionBet Getitready for Cheltenham Maiden Hurdle. Picture: Racing Photo
Future Proof and Eoin Walsh win the MansionBet Getitready for Cheltenham Maiden Hurdle. Picture: Racing Photo

A graduate of both the pony racing and point to point circuit, the lightweight rider believes that these are two crucial schooling grounds that any young rider with dreams of making a living out of race riding should participate in.

“It was while I was pony racing that I fell in love with the sport. I progressed on to working for Doneraile trainer John Joe Walsh who gave me my first ride in point to points, which I am still very grateful for.

“These are two activities that teach you so much about race riding, they are important schooling grounds for young lads starting out.”

Walsh has a very bright future ahead of him.

He has all the right ingredients to reach the upper echelons of the sport and he is based with one of the leading yards in the country.

He is on the books of one of the country’s top agents and he has already caught the eye of so many involved in the sport.

“I just want to stay in one piece and ride as many horses as I can, once you get the rides the winners will come.”

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