“Irish horse racing would tame lions, so I have literally no aims just try my best every day and where ever that leaves me I’ll just have to take it and make the most of it” is the inspiring outlook of young jockey Ronan Whelan.
Whelan is gearing up for a fresh flat season and looking to better last year’s success, which has unquestionable attracted the attention of trainers and owners who are more than eager to get this strong and capable jockey on-board their prized thoroughbreds.
There has been so many outstanding moments in Whelan’s progressive career so far, including being crowned Irish champion apprentice also having a royal Ascot winner on your CV, is something that any jockey can only dream of and he has attained it so early on in his career sets the bar high for the rest of his career yet modest Whelan insists “There’s so many up and downs in this game, I’m trying to teach myself not to get to low or to high”.
From as far back as Whelan can recall, horses where just a way of life and fortunately for him his uncle and his son ‘Conor’ kept ponies and they were more than happy for him to ride them “Once I started pony racing it was all wanted to do and I was very lucky to have my Mum and dad able to help emotionally as well as financially”
Irish racecourse standards are getting better all the time but we put the enquiry to this jockey, does he feel they are improving enough to keep up with the rest of the world which he answered, “speaking on a selfish point I think the facilities for jockeys could improve”, “I’ve ridden in a couple of different countries were a bit behind but there is moves been made so hopefully in time we’ll catch up.
The social media side of things can sometimes become a mental strain for younger jockey as some punters repeatedly have an open platform to abuse them and we asked Whelan has he ever been a target for them which he replied, “I have yes specifically when I’ve ridden in England though I don’t pay any attention to them it’s my bosses opinion I care about, not there’s”.
Though being a jockey was always his dream job though he feels if that was not possible for any reason, he would have been quite happy with working in the breeding and sales side of things as that’s the profession his father is involved in, however he is grateful he had the opportunity to be a jockey and thankfully to everyone who believed in him.
Being a jockey is definitely not your regular nine to five job as it comes with long hours and most of the time it is unacknowledged though Whelan has taken it all in his stride and whenever he does have a few spare hours he adores dinner with friends or heading to the cinema also occasionally loves to attend the odd GAA game “it’s nice release” added Whelan
On a concluding note to this article, we questioned this jockey that is undoubtable destined for big things, what is life motto is which he responded, “Today is a new day” if I’ve a bad day previously I try to learn from it forget about it and move forward”.