This week we decided to shake things up on the Paddy Power From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast. We gathered our brain trust of former multiple time Irish National Hunt Champion Jockey winner Ruby Walsh, star trader Frank Hickey and the Paddy Power himself to let them be grilled by listeners of the show.
Having ridden 213 Grade One winners in a glittering career that spanned three different decades, Ruby was as upfront as always when asked if he misses the buzz of being a leading jumps jockey.
And while he admitted he missed joy of whizzing past the winning post, Ruby’s motivation in life has now shifted gears since his retirement in 2019.
“The adrenalin rush of racing was incredible, and it was something I was very lucky to have felt on numerous occasions throughout my career,” said the 11-time leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.
But, that rush is only a very, very small part of being a jockey.
“You can’t ever replace it though, even when you are working on television or with anything else that I do now, it will never make me feel like riding a winner. However, that’s life and things move on. They are now memories for me that will never be replaced. I was really lucky to have had those days.”
While he still craves the thrill of winner, Ruby was admitted he no longer wanted to put in the work anymore that made him one of the first jockeys punters looked for on the race card before picking out their selections.
“You’d love to have those one per cent days, where you got that adrenalin rush, forever and ever,” he added. “Unfortunately, you come to an age in your life where you are not capable of doing the other 99 per cent involved in being a jockey at that level, and that’s the way it was going for me.
“You can be too old to be a jump jockey, and I was getting too old.”
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He may be in a slower lane in life these days, but Ruby feels lucky to have lived out a dream so many will never get to experience.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I am just like most of the population now. I have a wife, four kids and a mortgage, so I’m trying to earn a living and to live a normal life like everybody else.
I had a fantasy, which was being a professional sports person.
“But, that only lasts for a certain part of your life and then you become the same as everyone else once that is over.”
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