If you gave up racing, would you think of becoming a funeral director? Former conditional jockey Paul Robson did.
Paul, 26, retired in 2005 after riding 89 winners and looked at careers in fitness training and teaching before heading into the funeral business.
He was rewarded for his unusual change in career last weekend, receiving the Griffins Richard Davis Achievement Award at Cheltenham racecourse.
The award was established by the Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme (JETS) in memory of jockey Richard Davis, who died after a fall in 1996.
Paul from Hawick, Scotland, set up as an undertaker with his father after injury forced his retirement from racing.
On hanging up his boots he completed a joinery apprenticeship at his family business, before opening Robsons Funeral Directors.
“When the last locally-run directors in the area closed, I decided to go for it,” said Mr Robson.
“There are parts that aren’t so nice, but my main role is looking after the families.”
Although he misses racing, his business does not offer horse-drawn hearses yet.
Mr Robson shared the £2,500 award with Alan Dempsey, now a stipendiary steward for the British Horseracing Authority.
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (19 November, ’09)