“Live everyday like it’s your last” is the optimistic mindset of 23-year-old jockey Gary Halpin, who has ridden 85 winners so far in his whirlwind career including boasting noteworthy victories at the Galway festival and Irish champions weekend for some biggest trainers in the sport that include Kevin Prendergast John Oxx, Patrick Prendergast and Kevin Ryan and that is only naming a few.
Hungrier now for success than he ever has been “Obviously I am always trying as hard as possible to get as many winners as I can and my big goal is to ride out my claim” stated Halpin.
Born and raised in Dublin, he always had horses and pony’s in his life from as far back as he can recall, that was just the way of life” then he started riding out for handler John Geoghegan” it snowballed from there onwards” joked Halpin
Being a jockey was always high on his life ambitions from a very young age though if that didn’t go to plan he possibly may have been as contented to be a farmer “I have a lot of interest in farming as I worked on one for a while as a kid and I found it very enjoyable” added Halpin
Irish racing has its cons and pros the same as anything in life and generally Halpin feels everything is ‘fair enough’ within the rules and regulations though he adds “The only thing I would love to see changed is more flat racing in Ireland”.
Jockeys are endlessly receiving daily abuse and trolling on social media platforms from unhappy and arrogant punters regarding beaten horses but this hardworking jockey states “I think every jockey that is on social media has had abuse of some sort aimed at them at some stage though I have never taken too much notice in what they say,” I just try my utmost best “that’s all you can do”.
We Could not let this jockey away without putting him to the question give us a horse to follow? “John Geoghegan’s has a horse called “Massa lubrense” he was third place on his second run as a 2yr old and will have benefited from all the time John has given him” stated Halpin.
Normally his busy day-to-day routine consists of riding out for different trainers in the mornings then off to the races in the evening, though when not racing or riding he is always kept on his toes by his loving son jack, who is more than eager to follow in the footsteps of his father.
On a concluding note, away from horse racing, how does a demanding jockey unwind away from horse racing? “I would like to spend time with my son and partner as throughout the season I wouldn’t see them much”. “I would also play a bit of five a side football with the lads though there is always something to keep me busy”.