Champion Flat jockey to take on showjumpers at Hickstead

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  • Champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy says he “can’t wait” to take on the showjumpers at the Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships at Hickstead next week (24-27 June).

    The 25-year-old, who has been riding Lucinda Roche’s horses, and training with Lucinda and the likes of Richard Howley, is to take on the HY Equestrian 1.10m amateur championship at the All England Jumping Course.

    “I just want to do it for fun,” he told H&H. “I like to ride as a hobby, and as an amateur — but to do it ok, that’s my whole point. It’s been a good thrill, and hopefully I won’t make too much of a laughing stock of myself at Hickstead!

    “I just don’t want to miss, and land in the middle of a combination or something, but whichever horse I’m riding will probably be a schoolmaster, and I’ve ridden lots of different ones now so it should be really good fun.”

    Oisin said a lot of his old friends showjump, such as Richard, David Simpson and Bertram Allen, and he follows their careers.

    “We were all riding ponies at the same time and as I’ve got a bit older, I’ve been a bit more proactive in wanting to go and ride, and get lessons; David suggested it,” he said.

    Oisin said it was not too difficult to transfer his Flat skills to the arena, with all his previous experience on ponies.

    Continues below…

    “It probably hasn’t changed my race-riding, other than I’m more aware, cantering to post, if a horse is changing legs often, or if maybe the ground’s a bit too fast, but it’s like chalk and cheese,” he added.

    “I can’t wait [for Hickstead]. They’ve given me a wild card to the final in the main ring; I’ve seen it on TV and been to watch a few times so that will be really good.”

    Asked if his speed will mean no one will be able to touch him in a jump-off, Oisin said: “I think they will, I’d rather get round without making a show of myself. It’ll be fun.”

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