Ruby Walsh is widely considered to be one of the greatest jockeys in the history of horse racing. He was born in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1979, into a family with deep roots in the sport. His father, Ted Walsh, was a successful jockey and trainer, and his mother, Helen, was also involved in racing.
Ruby Walsh has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a jockey, during which he has ridden some of the greatest horses of his generation to numerous big wins. Here are some of his most notable victories:
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Walsh won this prestigious race twice, first in 2007 aboard Kauto Star, and again in 2009 on board Kauto Star’s stablemate, Denman.
Champion Hurdle – Walsh rode four winners of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, including Hurricane Fly in 2011 and 2013, and Faugheen in 2015.
Stayers’ Hurdle – Walsh won the Stayers’ Hurdle four times, most notably aboard the legendary mare, Quevega, who won the race six times in a row from 2009 to 2014.
Queen Mother Champion Chase – Walsh rode the brilliant Sprinter Sacre to victory in this race in 2013, in what was widely regarded as one of the greatest performances in the history of jump racing.
Grand National – Walsh won the world’s most famous steeplechase in 2000 aboard Papillon, a horse trained by his father, Ted.
Irish Grand National – Walsh won this prestigious race twice, first in 2000 on Commanche Court, and again in 2016 on Rogue Angel.
Punchestown Festival – Walsh has enjoyed countless big wins at the Punchestown Festival, one of Ireland’s premier racing events. He has won the Punchestown Gold Cup five times, and the Champion Chase four times.
From a young age, Ruby showed a natural talent for riding horses. He began riding competitively in point-to-point races at the age of 16, and soon after turned professional. His career got off to a promising start, with his first win coming in 1995 at the age of 16, and he quickly established himself as one of the top young jockeys in Ireland.
In 1998, Ruby got his big break when he was offered a job as stable jockey for the powerful trainer Willie Mullins. Mullins had already established himself as one of the top trainers in Ireland, and was building a reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
Under Mullins’ guidance, Ruby’s career went from strength to strength. He won his first Cheltenham Festival race in 1998, and over the years that followed he became a fixture at the meeting, consistently riding winners and setting records along the way.
One of Ruby’s greatest strengths as a jockey was his ability to get the best out of his horses. He was known for his calmness under pressure, his impeccable timing, and his tactical nous. He was also a fearless rider, willing to take risks and make bold moves when the situation called for it.
Throughout his career, Ruby rode some of the greatest horses of his generation. He formed a particularly successful partnership with the mare Quevega, who won six consecutive editions of the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He also rode the legendary steeplechaser Kauto Star to many of his greatest victories, including two wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In addition to his success at the Cheltenham Festival, Ruby also enjoyed great success at other major racing events around the world. He won the Grand National in 2000 aboard Papillon, and also enjoyed success at the likes of the Irish Grand National, the Galway Races, and the Punchestown Festival.
Ruby’s career was not without its setbacks, however. He suffered a number of serious injuries over the years, including a broken leg, a broken arm, and a broken collarbone. But he always bounced back, showing a remarkable resilience and determination to succeed.
In 2018, Ruby announced his retirement from the saddle. His decision to retire came after a glittering career that saw him ride over 2,750 winners and become one of the most successful jockeys of all time. He was also a hugely popular figure in the sport, admired for his skill, his sportsmanship, and his humility.
Since retiring, Ruby has remained involved in the sport as a pundit and commentator. He has also taken on a role as an ambassador for the Tote, the UK and Ireland’s pool betting operator, and has been involved in various charitable endeavors.
In conclusion, Ruby Walsh is one of the greatest jockeys in the history of horse racing. His career was defined by his skill, his bravery, and his ability to get the best out of his horses. He won numerous major races and set records that may never be broken. But perhaps even more impressive than his achievements on the track was his sportsmanship and his humility, which made him a hugely popular figure both inside and outside of the racing community.