Banteer's Eoin Walsh grateful to be back in the saddle after injury setback

A broken collarbone slowed the Cork jockey's progress but hasn't dimmed his appetite for more
Banteer's Eoin Walsh grateful to be back in the saddle after injury setback

Lignou and Eoin Walsh win The Follow Kilbeggan On Twitter Rated Novice Hurdle. Picture: Healy Racing.

BANTEER native Eoin Walsh arrived on the national hunt scene two years ago.

Since then, the talented rider caught the eye of some of the country’s leading jumps trainers.

Walsh quickly turned conditional and since making that momentous decision he has never looked back.

The young rider spent a while on the sidelines this season following a collarbone bone injury, he considers himself and his fellow jockeys to be in a privileged position during the current pandemic.

“We are blessed that we can continue to work and make a living out of something we love during the recent lockdowns.

“Every day I was kept very busy riding out at Noel’s. Racing with no crowds in attendance was hard to get used to at the start but now it has become the new norm.

“I got the season off to a pleasing start, I rode a share of winners but then, unfortunately, I broke my collar bone, and was out of action for a while, when I got back things were a bit slow and then I hurt it again.

”Overall, I’m happy and I am very much looking forward to the new jumps getting underway.”

Walsh believes that employing the services of a good jockey’s agent is paramount if you are to enjoy a fruitful career.

HARD WORK

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 myself up to Ruaidhri Tierney, I find him great to deal with, he is very hardworking 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 Duhallow 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 learning 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 is great to be around; he answers every question I have for him.”

HIGHLIGHT

The highlight of his career so far was winning the Leinster National last year aboard the Noel Meade-trained Cap York.

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.

A graduate of both the pony racing and point-to-point circuit, the promising rider believes that these are two crucial schooling grounds that any young rider with aspirations 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 disciplines that teach you about race riding, they are important schooling grounds for young lads starting out.”

Eoin Walsh has a very bright future ahead of him, he is on track to reach upper echelons of the sport, 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.

“I’m very happy to be plying my trade in Ireland for now, my plan is to keep improving my riding, and keep my head down, get on as many horses as I can, and ride as many winners as possible.”

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