Top 10 Irish Jockeys of All Time

In Ireland, jockeying is a unique sport that is held in high regard. The finest horsemen in the world are Irish jockeys. The main stud farms and racing tracks were located in Ireland while it was a part of the United Kingdom. Largely, you will find that this is still the case. In both disciplines of horse racing, Ireland has a long history of producing some of the best jockeys in the world. Even now, many of the most trusted riders come from Ireland, a country where the sport has a long history of popularity. To be a jockey, you must be devoted, focused, and highly driven, as well as a strong rider with excellent horsemanship abilities. It has a lot of different values attached to it. There have been outstanding jockeys in Ireland that have made impacts locally and internationally. This article tries to pay homage to the top Irish jockeys of all time.

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This page is written by
Cameron Murphy
Cameron MurphyOnline Casino Expert
Fact checked by
Rebecca Mackay
Rebecca MackayHead of Content
According to our Editorial Guide

Rupert "Ruby" Walsh

Date of Birth: May 14, 1979

He is a former jockey from Ireland. He is the eldest son of Ted Walsh, a former champion amateur rider, and Helen. Only Sir Anthony McCoy and Richard Johnson have won more races in British and Irish jump racing history than Walsh.

Aidan Walsh has won the best jockey award at the Cheltenham Festival 11 times. Many consider the race to be the most prestigious event in horse racing's World Cup.

He is one of the world's most renowned and accomplished jockeys. He is the brother of jockey Katie Walsh and the son of former champion amateur jockey Ted Walsh. At the age of 18, he won his first Irish amateur title in 1996/7. Before going professional, he did it again in 1997/8.

Walsh is the most successful rider in the Festival, with 59 victories, and has won the top rider's prize eleven times in the previous several years. On his first try, he won the Aintree Grand National with Papillon in 2000. Walsh and Bashboy won the Australian Grand National in August 2015. He announced his retirement from racing with immediate effect on May 1st, 2019, following a 24-year trophy-ladened career.

Sir Anthony Peter McCoy 

Date of Birth: May 4, 1974

He is a former National Hunt horse racing rider from Northern Ireland. McCoy, who was based in Ireland and the United Kingdom, rode 4,358 winners and was Champion Jockey for a record 20 years in a row.

Sir AP McCoy remains the finest jump jockey globally, having won the title of Champion Jockey for the past 20 years. AP won the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cups, the Champion Hurdle, King George VI Chase throughout his career, and the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

AP began his career as an apprentice at Jim Bolger's stables and won his first race on Legal Steps in a flat race when he was 17 years old.

In 2001, AP became the first jockey to win 100 races in a single season. He immediately beat Gordon Richards' record for the most victories ridden in a calendar year, which he had held since 1947. In April 2010, AP won the Grand National aboard Don't Push It on his sixteenth try. AP announced his retirement live on television on his 200th win of the 2014/2015 season, and his final ride was in April 2015. AP survived fractured vertebrae, both shoulder blades, collarbones, ribs, ankle, cheekbones, wrist, ankle, and leg, as well as a dislocated thumb and chipped teeth during his illustrious career.

Michael J. Kinane

Date of Birth: June 22, 1959

In the final season of his 34-year riding career, he was better known as "Mick," the jockey of Sea The Stars, who won six Group One races, including the 2,000 Guineas, Derby, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He was a promising apprentice for Liam Browne, a trainer who had a reputation for producing riders at the time. Mick was from a racing family with a long history in Ireland; his father won the Champion Hurdle at Monksfield, and Mick won the Naas November Handicap at Monksfield.

He was well-dressed and professional, with a strong desire to succeed. He behaved strategically like a chess master; he always knew what was going to happen next. He was an expert at placing himself in the greatest positions, both on and off the horse.

Mick Kinane made his racing debut at Leopardstown as a 15-year-old in March 1975. He won the Irish Champion Jockey title 13 times and rode 1,500 winners across the world. The 2,000 Guineas, the Derby three times, and the Melbourne Cup were among his notable achievements. Kinane rode 17 victories at the top level in 2001 alone, including the Derby, Oaks, and St. Leger.

Charlie Swan 

Date of Birth: January 20, 1968

In the 1990s, he was a prominent National Hunt jockey in Ireland. He is known for winning three Champion Hurdles aboard the legendary Istabraq. He was the leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival twice and Ireland's National Hunt jockey for nine years. After retiring as a jockey, he worked as a trainer in Modreeny, near Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, for several years.

Charlie Swan has won the Irish National Horse Racing Championship seven times in a row. He holds the Irish records for the most wins in a season (147 in 1995/96) and the most wins in a calendar year (24 in 1995/96). Swan only lost his title as champion Irish rider after opting to focus on his coaching profession. In the bite arena of the National Hunt, a public-school youngster chewed up the locals. Charlie Swan, an Irishman, captured the hearts of Irish racegoers eleven times at Cheltenham. His father was from London, while his mother was from Kells. His father was a captain in the Queen's Dragoon Guards.

Charlie Swan is still vying for Frank Berry's ten Irish jump jockey titles. He's aiming for 1,000 wins, having already surpassed 900 a few weeks ago. His uncommon modesty and politeness outweigh his aversion to discussing himself. In 1989/90, he won his first championship riding title, and for the next nine years, he was the finest Irish horse racer. In 1998, he took over his father's training stable and began working as a coach. He has also dabbled in amateur jockeying.

Patrick James John Eddery 

Date: March 18, 1952

He was a flat racing rider and horse trainer from Ireland. He won the Derby three times and was named Champion Jockey eleven times. Only Sir Gordon Richards rode the winners of more British flat races than he did. Pat Eddery had dreamed of being the champion jockey and winning the Derby since he was a youngster.

Before going to England in 1967, Patrick Eddery worked as an apprentice jockey in Ireland. In 1969, he won the Wokingham Handicap, Timeform Gold Cup and the Northumberland Plate, as well as the Goodwood Stakes. His efforts to reclaim what he had lost when the English racing season converted to multi-purpose track racing in the early 1990s, commencing in November, earned him his last champion title in 1996. In 1972, Eddery rode for Newmarket trainer Geoffrey Barling before becoming Peter Walwyn's stable jockey later that year. He won his first two classic races for Walwyn on Polygamy and Grundy and was Champion Jockey for four years in a row from 1974 to 1977.

He took over as the rider of Dancing Brave from Greville Starkey in 1986 at the request of the horse's owner. He won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Ascot Racecourse with Dancing Brave.

Kieren Francis Fallon 

Date of Birth: February 22, 1965

He is a six-time British Champion Jockey and a retired Irish professional flat racing jockey. Aidan Fallon first won the Jockeys' Championship in 1997. He became Henry Cecil's stable jockey at Warren Place in Newmarket. Fallon had 202 victories and five victories at the end of the season. His most recent victory came in the 1,000 Guineas aboard Sleepytime.

Kieren Fallon arrived at Kevin Prendergast's Irish stables just before his 18th birthday, having never ridden a horse before. His first eight rides for the yard were a flop, and he began to doubt his decision. But it all came together in April 1988, when he guided Evichstar home by one and a half lengths at Thirsk to win a bet from 14/1 to 11/2. He resigned in 2016 and has been focusing on his son Cieren's blossoming career, which culminated in his being named a champion apprentice in the United Kingdom in 2019. Jimmy Fallon went on to become Sir Henry Cecil's stable jockey in 1997.

The partnership was off to a great start with victory in the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks for Sleepytime and Reams of Verse. He'd keep the championship over the next two seasons, winning a slew of important races for Warren Place. When Fallon was fired that summer, an unstoppable relationship came to a screeching halt.

For the next two seasons, Fallon remained in regular contact with Stoute. He won the jockeys' title for the sixth time after riding 149 winners, including Golan in King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2002 and Islington in the Nassau Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks in 2003.

Paul Carberry

Date of Birth: February 9, 1974

He is a former jockey for the Irish National Hunt, and was born into a racing family.

Paul Carberry has won 39 Grade 1 races during his career, including the Grand National aboard Bobbyjo in 1999. At the 2005 Champion Hurdle, he had the best success with Harchibald. In January 2013, he won the Welsh National aboard Monbeg Dude at Chepstow, bringing him back to Britain's big-race winner's enclosure. Carberry announced his retirement from the saddle on August 9th, 2016, after failing to recuperate from a long-standing leg injury incurred in a fall in September 2015 at Listowel.

Paul Carberry was one of the greatest National Hunt jockeys of all time. He began his career on the Flat, winning 27 races as an apprentice in 1993, but he earned his mark over hurdles and fences. He had a great partnership with trainer Noel Meade and was champion national hunt jockey in 2001/2002 and 2002/2003. On Monday, September 5th, 1994, Carberry completed the "perfect hat-trick" by riding a winner on the flat, over hurdles and fences at the same meeting in Galway.

Francis Martin Berry

Date: January 2, 1981

He was an Irish racehorse rider that mostly participated in flat racing. Berry started as a National Hunt rider, winning the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in 1999, but later switched to Flat racing. From 2002 until 2009, he worked as a second jockey at John Oxx stable before becoming the stable's main jockey in 2010. He also rode Jessica Harrington and John Kiely to big victories. Berry came to Britain in 2016 to work as a stable jockey for Ralph Beckett, a relationship that lasted until Berry departed by "mutual consent" in 2017. He stayed in the United Kingdom to work as a freelance jockey.

Frank Berry was the ten-time Irish jump racing champion jockey, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1972. Glencaraig Lady, the pinnacle of his career, was the second of Longford's ten most memorable sporting moments over the last fifty years. In January 2019, he suffered spinal injuries in a fall in Wolverhampton and resigned on medical advice in April of that year. He had 1,020 flat wins in Ireland and another 200 in the United Kingdom and 37 jump winners in Ireland, and four in the United Kingdom.

Rachael Blackmore 

Date of Birth: July 11, 1989

She is an Irish racehorse jockey who participates in the National Hunt racing. She was the first female jockey to win the Grand National in 2021.

Stowaway Pearl, trained by Shark Hanlon, won the Tipperary Ladies' Handicap Hurdle at Thurles on February 10th, 2011, marking Blackmore's first win as an amateur jockey. In March 2015, she became a professional after riding eleven point-to-point victories and seven winners as an amateur. In 2017, Blackmore became the first woman to win the Irish conditional riders' championship. In 2018, Blackmore rode Alpha des Obeaux in the Grand National for the first time, and the horse went off at 33/1 before falling at the sixteenth obstacle, the Chair. A Plus Tard won the Chase Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase in 2019, giving her her first Cheltenham Festival victory.

Since Maria Cullen in the 1980s, jockey Mary Blackmore was the first female Irish rider to go pro. Blackmore debuted as a professional in 2015 after winning just seven races as an amateur. After a few months of losing, her choice to turn pro in 2015 was viewed as a bad bet. At Clonmel in 2015, she won her first professional race aboard the Hanlon-trained Most Honourable.

Johnny Murtagh

Date of Birth: May 14, 1970

From Bohermeen, Kells, County Meath, he is an Irish flat racing rider and trainer. He has won many of Europe's major flat races, including all of the Irish Classics, Royal Ascot's Group 1 races, The Derby, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's most prestigious sports activity. He's also a five-time Irish flat racing champion jockey.

He joined Oxx's stable in 1992, and from then until his retirement in 2003, he rode 18 Group One victories for the Aga Khan, the Oxx's major owner.

Murtagh has been a Coolmore rider since 2002, replacing Kieren Fallon in 2010. Roderic O'Connor, the team's most recent Group One champion, won the Criterium International in Saint-Cloud on October 31st, 2010. Murtagh will be riding for John Oxx, who is responsible for 90 of the Aga Khan's horses, as well as Mick Halford, who is responsible for 30. With Sinndar, the Irishman won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2000.

Irish folks are excellent horse enthusiasts; they grow up around horses. It's in their blood; they're the finest jockeys/horsemen/women globally, and they're a very gifted race. Jockeys create a reputation for themselves via hard effort, discipline, and experience. Every year, successful jockeys are known to compete in over 1,000 races. Better performance opens up more options and can result in a significant rise in revenue. You must be able to handle horses and possess a thorough understanding of horse care and welfare. It's a physically hard profession that demands fitness, strength, and stamina. Injury is also a possibility, such as through falls or being kicked by a horse.

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Cameron Murphy

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An online casino expert of 12 years, Cameron Murphy knows the ins and outs of Irish online casinos. Cameron specialises in online casino reviews, gambling regulations, and providing quality content on ...continue reading

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