All good things come to an end and jockeys can’t race-ride forever. It may seem ironic that I’m retiring after such a good season — 15 winners — but my granddad Mick Easterby put the thought in my head when he said that if I keep having bad falls, eventually I won’t be able to hunt or ride every day.
As you get older, you start to notice that you don’t fall as well as you used to or bounce back as quickly. The falls I’ve had recently have really hurt and taken a long time to recover from.
Retiring is easier said than done, but by slowly weaning yourself off riding every horse going and giving rides to other jockeys, you suddenly have time to spend on the other side of the fence.
It’s actually quite enjoyable; the opportunity to sit and chat and enjoy the day, rather than racing around jumping from one horse to another.
It’s a chance to wind down naturally.
So my advice for people who are thinking about retiring from race-riding is to just do it. Once you start considering retirement, you don’t give the sport your all.
Personally, I’ll still have pointers because it’s in my blood, so my next project is to take out my trainer’s licence under Rules. Watch this space!
Ref: Horse & Hound; 9 June 2016