We recently caught up with Jim Bolger’s apprentice Gavin Ryan.
Tell us about yourself and your achievements so far?
I’m seventeen years old from a little village Moyglass outside Killenaule Co.Tipperary , I was fortunate to have been provided with my first winner on my first ride by my boss Mr Jim Bolger aboard locus standi in Dundalk back in march
How did you get into horse racing?
I developed an interest in horses at a very young age I remember going to my aunties house in limerick with my parents and getting to sit on their pony before I ever knew how to ride and I thought it was great so it wasn’t long until I wanted to get my own! My parents Matt and Connie were very good to me and got me started on a small black hunting pony Sammy when I got a bit bigger and stronger I started show-jumping and Eventing on better ponies I did that for a few years and it was great but my dream was always to become a jockey so when I was 14 I started pony racing whilst I rode out in a small local yard owned by Aidan Kennedy. Then that winter I started in Edward O’Grady’s at weekends and holidays I learned a lot there and continued there during the summer whilst pony racing. When I finished pony racing last year I started in Jim Bolger’s with the plan to sign on. And fortunately, Mr Bolger took me on at the start of 2017 and I’m very grateful to the boss for the chances he’s given me and for what I’ve been taught.
Are the standards of Irish racecourses up to scratch?
I haven’t ridden abroad so I haven’t experienced the standard of other countries racing but moves are being made to improve Irish racing so hopefully we will see changes for the better in the future
Have you ever been targeted by Internet trolls?
fortunately, I have never been targeted by internet trolls but I suppose all you can do is ignore it and move on
If you weren’t a jockey what would you have been?
I’ve always wanted to be a jockey I never really thought about what else I’d like to do if racing doesn’t work out for me but I suppose I’d like to stay working with horses in one way or another
Aims for the future?
Keep improving and doing my best for owners and trainers who put me up.
Give us a horse to follow?
Verbal Dexérity is a real nice horse trained by the boss and looked a very smart Curragh maiden winner and gave a good display to be second in a group 2 on just his second start
How do you unwind outside racing?
I live with 2 other apprentices in Mr Bolger’s Luke McAteer and Willy Byrne and when we’re not riding we like to go to the cinema or for dinner or to the driving range I also like to go to Tipperary hurling games when I have the time
Take everything day by day and always be grateful to those who helped you along the way