Barry Geraghty, Irish jump jockey

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Barry Geraghty was born on 16 September 1979 in County Meath, Ireland. His rise to the top of the sport has been relatively quick. He rode his first winner in January 1997 aboard the Noel Meade-trained Stagalier at Down Royal. By 1999/2000 he had been crowned top jump jockey in Ireland, a feat he repeated in 2003/04.

Barry comes from a family with a strong racing background. His father Tucker was an amateur jockey and a National Hunt trainer and his brother Ross is a successful jump jockey in America.

He is most famous for his partnership with the Jessica Harrington-trained Moscow Flyer. In 2002 he had his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival in the Arkle Challenge Trophy on Moscow Flyer. They were a great partnership, winning two Queen Mother Champion Chases in 2003 and 2005, two Tingle Creek Chases in 2003 and 2004 and the Punchestown Champion Chase in 2004.

Other notable wins include the World Hurdle with Iris’s Gift in 2004, the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Kicking King in 2005, the Champion Hurdle with Punjabi in 2009 and the Grand National with Monty’s Pass in 2003.

But the Queen Mother Champion Chase is a race where he has excelled. He has won it twice on Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005), once on Big Zeb (2010) and once on Finian’s Rainbow (2012). In total he has won 25 races at the Cheltenham Festival and has always had at least one winner there since his first in 2002.

He and Ruby Walsh are the only active jockeys to have won all five of the major National Hunt races — the Champion Hurdle, World Hurdle, Champion Chase, Gold Cup and the Grand National.

In 2008 he became stable jockey for the National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson after his jockey Mick Fitzgerald decided to retire from riding. This partnership was almost an instant success, with Barry winning the Champion Hurdle on Punjabi and helping Henderson break the 100 winners in a season mark — something he had never done before. However he still rides regularly for the Irish trainers Jessica Harrington, Edward O’Grady and Noel Meade.

In November 2009 he recorded his 1,000th winner in the UK and Ireland on the Nicky Henderson-trained Duc De Regniere at Kempton Park.

Barry lives in County Meath, Ireland with his wife Paula and their two children.

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Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk