SKIBBEREEN native Adam Farragher enjoyed the biggest success of his fledgling career at Cork last Sunday.
The 20-year apprentice was seen to great effect when steering the Mick Halford trained Rayounpour to a snug victory in the valuable Cork Derby.
The young jockey remarked after the competitive contest that he was delighted to get his first win.
“That’s my first big handicap winner and it’s great to get it, especially for the boss, it’s my first winner for him too.”
Farragher differs from most of his weigh-room colleagues as he doesn’t come from a “horsey” background.
The west Cork man started riding horses from a young age. He started off in a local riding school with Ann Fawsitt when he was nine years old.
“Once I started riding at Ann’s I caught the bug so to speak.
"I did a bit of hunter trialling which I really enjoyed. At the start of 2016, I started riding out for trainer Ray Hurley in Clonakilty.
"I learned so much at Ray’s racing yard and got a lot of invaluable experience riding out all summer, it was a wonderful and enjoyable experience working with Racehorses.”
Adam realized in primary school that working with horses was all that he was interested in, school was not for him.
After sitting his junior cert, he heard about RACE in Co. Kildare, since discovering the racing academy the young lad had his mind set on attending there.
“During the summer I came to RACE for a week’s trial. The trial week was tough, both mentally and physically and it pushed me to the limit.
"When I finally got the letter saying I was accepted I was absolutely over the moon and I couldn’t wait to start.
“RACE is a brilliant place to attend for anyone interested in making a career out of working with horses, not only do you learn about riding, the course teaches you about different aspects of the racing industry.
"I found the tutors and coaches excellent and I am extremely happy that I went there.”
The talented young rider was placed with trainer Johnny Feane at the end of 2016, from the moment he arrived at the Curragh yard he fitted in straight away.
“Johnny was very good to me, I got on with him immediately, he had great trust in me, before I was given my licence, he let me ride in schooling races at Dundalk.
"That whole experience stood to me and helped me develop and improve my race riding. I can’t praise Johnny enough; I could always go to him if I had a question or a problem.”
Adam Farragher rode his winner in February 2018 abord Mostawfee in a maiden at Dundalk for Feane.
“It’s a day I will never forget, you really can’t explain that feeling you get when you pass the winning post in front.
"It was super to ride my first racecourse winner for Johnny. Once you taste success all you want to do is ride another winner.”
The Skibbereen lad believes strongly in hard work, he has now joined the successful yard of Mick Halford where he is kept busy daily riding work.
He also believes in the importance of having a good agent.
“I am on Ruaidhri Tierney’s book, I find him great, he is constantly on the phone to trainers across the land trying to get me rides.
"Not only do you have to be a good rider but you have to be able to conduct yourself in an excellent manner and you have to be able to communicate with owners and trainers in the parade ring before and after the race.
"To get on in this highly competitive sport you must be able to give a rundown on how the race went, and what you think the future should be for the horse.” Adam Farragher is a self-confessed fan of Davy Russell; he believes his attitude and work ethic is second to none.
“Davy does everything right, that’s why he is so successful, I heard him say a few times, keep your ears open and your mouth shut, I strongly believe the same.
"My aim for the season is to keep my head down, work as hard as I can and to give every horse the best possible ride.”