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Winning Ways

After a quiet start to the season, certainly by last year’s standards, the winners have started to roll in for Oisin.  Since the last update he has been travelling the length and breadth of the country for rides and has ridden winners at Mussleburgh, Hamilton, Ayr and Thirsk for four different trainers, the boss, Kevin Ryan, Stella Barclay, John Quinn and Richard Fahey.

In addition to this, the young apprentice had his first ride at Royal Ascot and made sure that he savoured the experience.

Arriving early, Oisin didn’t have any traffic problems getting in and took the opportunity to take in the occasion.  He said how enjoyable it was and commented,

“Being in the parade ring was really special, I took some time to absorb the atmosphere.  My horse, Blenheim Boy, was very well behaved so we cantered very steadily to post”

Oisin was riding for Richard Fahey, who trained two winners at the Royal meeting.  He continues to ride out at Richard’s yard on his Sunday’s off, in order to keep building and maintaining connections.

And while riding is the main job, there are many strings to being a jockey.  Continual professional development is both an obligation to being granted a license and as in any career, key to moving forward.

Following a ride at Kempton on Wednesday night, Oisin stayed down south but was up before breakfast was even being served in the hotel, to get to Warwick Racecourse for a 5lb claimer course organised by the British Horseracing Authority.  The course covered a range of topics, including fitness and mental wellbeing.

Oisin said,

“Aodhagan Conlon, a former jockey and trainee sports psychologist was on hand to deliver some training about mental skills such as visualisation, self-talk and goal setting.  It was very useful and reassuring to know that he is only a phone call away should we need to discuss anything.”

Kevin Ryan’s yard is going well at the moment and knocking in the winners.  As the racing is increasing Oisin is getting busier and riding most days but on non-racing days he attends the gym.

“I want to get stronger, but not heavier.  Going to the gym helps me maintain my fitness and work on these areas.”

“I also speak to Kim Tinkler, my jockey coach, regularly to talk about and review my rides.”

Although his recent winners have all come from different yards, Oisin is finding it hard to pick up outside rides,

“The field sizes are so small at the moment that there are very few opportunities to pick up spare rides.  My agent Niall Hannity does a great job to get me on them when they are available but with so many jockeys attached to yards, they don’t have to look outside of their own team.”

Like most of us, when possible Oisin has been enjoying the beautiful recent weather we have been experiencing and even played a couple of games of golf with his housemate, but following those results he insists that he has a better career as a pro jockey than a pro golfer!