Ruby Walsh announced his retirement on Wednesday evening following success with Kemboy in the Gold Cup at Punchestown. Walsh bows out at 39 years of age and opted to end his brilliant career as a jockey following the win at the Kildare track in the Grade 1 race.
Speaking to reporters after the race he said “That’s it”. “When you’re going out at Punchestown you go out on a winner”. He continued “You will never see me on a horse – I’m finished”. Walsh has had a superb career he has worked with the best trainers and best owners around. His first winner was in July 1995 and he went on to work for Paul Nicholls and then of course Willie Mullins.
Speaking to RTE Sport an emotional Walsh said that his success was down to the quality of horses he was able to ride. He said “I’ve been so lucky from day one to ride so many incredible horses. I never dreamt I’d get the ride the likes of the equine athletes that I rode and no jockey is any good without the horses”. He went on to list horses such as Alexander Banquet, Big Bucks, Denman, Kauto Star, Masterminded, Hurricane Fly, Annie Power, Kemboy and Un De Sceaux which he stated as the best horses. RTE post the question to Walsh whether he would consider going into training in which he responded “No, not in this environment, in this country. Horses will always be part of my life I love working for Willie [Mullins] and I’ll continue to do so.”
Ruby listed his career injuries as one of the reasons to bring down the curtain on his 25 year career as a jockey. Some injuries he suffered included breaking his leg 3 times, suffering a ruptured spleen and various other injuries. He said “Everyone gets their fair share of injuries,” “I probably got a fraction more than my fare share but the average is that someone has to have a high average to make up for the lads on the low end, but that’s racing. Walsh also said that he would have called time on his career earlier, if Rathvinden won in the Grand National. “Being honest, if Rathvinden had won the Grand National I probably would have bowed out then, there’s no bigger stage than that, but that didn’t happen.”
It remains to be seen what is next for Ruby Walsh he may go into horse racing punditry like fellow jockey AP McCoy, either way we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
Here is just Some of his major honours as jockey included:
12 time Irish Champion Jockey
Leading jockey 11 times at Cheltenham since 2004
2 Grand Nationals win in 2000 and 2005
2 Cheltenham Gold Cup 2007 and 2009 on board Kauto Star
Bet365 Gold Cup x 2 aboard Adhoc in 2001 and 2003
Scottish Grand National winner 2002
Welsh Grand National winner 2004
Betfair Chase 4 time winner 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012
Supreme Novices Hurdle 6 time winner most recently with Klassical Dream