“Life pushes us in many ways, testing our strength and demanding us to get out of our comfort zone. The best thing is that as long as we maintain hope, we are powerful enough to handle both success and disappointment” This is the mentality of Co. Kilkenny born jockey Andrew Ring.
From having a no horse racing background, he had to do it the hard way; “I really don’t know where the enticement of being a jump jockey came from though once I had it in my head no other job was ever going to interest me” stated the 28-year-old rider.
His first taste of success was gained back in March 18th, 2012 in the shape of the Philip Rothwell-trained Ample Appeal at Limerick racecourse. Ring sweet-talked the son of Craigsteel across the line to win by an ever-growing margin of three lengths in front of a jammed packed horde of scholars attending the student race-day;
“You never forget your first winner,”
“Getting the maiden monkey of my back was a huge relief and from then onwards it was a case of keeping my head down and concentrating on further winners” insisted Ring.
There is no point sugar-coating things, horse racing is a dangerous sport and you are never too far away from an injury jumping large obstacles on a day-to-day basis; “Thinking that you are invincible is a treacherous road. Jump jockeys and injuries almost go hand-in-hand, you just have to stay focused on the winning, yet in the same breath understand and minimise the risks as much as possible” added Ring.
The Castlecomer native is living the dream with his wife Eimear and is very much looking forward to the future; “My wife Eimear is very understanding of my demanding job. Being a jockey is unquestionably is not a nine-to-five vocation, if you want to keep your name fresh in the trainers and owners minds you you have to put the additional miles and your working day doesn’t end after the races if you want to make a living in the merciless sport and having the support of my wife is a enormous benefit” stated Ring
Last year was the first time Ring rode in the Aintree Grand National, we really wanted to find out what that unforgettable experience was like: Ring responded; “Riding in the national is a dream coming true for me. The adrenaline I got from being involved in that race was indescribable. I would love to win the much-sought-after race and with any luck my ambition will come true”
We could hardly let this go-getting jockey go without giving our readers two horses to follow and Ring kindly replied with his two tentative picks; “I think the Mouse Morris trained Sam’s Profile should pay its way this year and the Keith Watson trained Frankly All talk looks a winner waiting to happen”.
Away from horse racing what makes Andrew Ring tick?; A bit of golf hurling and farming are my distraction away from horse racing on seldom occasions though truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way, I love everything that comes with the horse racing buzz” asserts Ring.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. The best of Andrew Ring is yet to come, just you wait and see.
Follow Andrew Ring on twitter – @ringa1990