Nina Carberry ends her riding career with winner at Punchestown Festival

Nina Carberry followed her sister in law, Katie Walsh, in retiring from the saddle following the win of Josies Orders (6/5f) for Enda Bolger in the Dooley Insurances Cross Country Chase on the final day of the 2018 Punchestown Festival on Saturday.

On entering the winner’s enclosure post-race the horse and rider got a huge cheer from the massive crowd as Carberry’s family and fellow riders gathered to greet her. Commenting on her final winner Carberry said:

“It was really sweet to finish off on Josies Orders. I think either way I’d have stopped today, whether I’d won or not, I’d chosen a couple of weeks ago that I’d do it this afternoon. Enda has been a massive supporter and I wouldn’t have had all the Cheltenham winners without him and J P (McManus) as well. I’m sad and I’m happy. I’m sad that I’m finished and going to miss all the banter but happy that I’ve got a new career ahead of me.”

Nina Carberry continued:

“A couple of months ago, I decided that this would be my last season and today was going to be the day, whether I had a winner or not. To have a winner is great, and for Enda and J P over the Banks – it’s something special. Punchestown has been very good to me along the way and this was the day I picked. I was just hoping that Josies Orders would do it for me and, fair dues, he did. I probably got to the front too soon in the La Touche Cup and Auvergnat was probably a bit better than me but he did it today anyway.”

She admitted to having discussed her retirement with Katie Walsh, who retired a day before her after her winner on Friday evening at Punchestown:

“Katie and I were walking the course together on Tuesday and I told her that this would be my last Punchestown. She said that she had something to tell me and she told me that her winner would be her last one. So we kind of had an idea of what we were going to do. She didn’t know that I was retiring and I didn’t know that she was – it was just our time. We gave ourselves a hug and a little cry.”

Reflecting on her career, the hugely successful and popular rider said:

“The day On The Fringe won his third race here after the double at Cheltenham and Aintree was something special. Noel Meade was also very loyal to me the whole way through and Gordon Elliott is a brilliant trainer who supported me the whole way – trainers like that are who you want to ride for and they were very good to me.”

Winning trainer and Banks specialist Enda Bolger paid tribute to Carberry by saying:

“I watched the race with Nina’s mum and the final 200 yards were the longest 200 yards I’ve ever seen, I’m stuck for words but at the same time so happy for Nina. She gave everything 110% and you never needed to give her instructions in a race, you just leave it all to her. She’s a Carberry and they are natural horsemen.”

Noel Meade, for whom Nina rode numerous Bumper winners stated:

“She’s such a fabulous person and has been from the very first time I ever met her. She’s from a fantastic family and what you see with Nina is what you get every time. She’s a fabulous tactician and a highly-competent rider. I’m delighted that she’s able to pull out in one piece. It’s a fantastic day but a sad day.”




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