Having trained for seven years under the late Dessie Hughes, Kilbeacanty native Ian McCarthy currently rides for Ted Walsh and has a business of his own in Kildangan, County Kildare, breaking and pre-training horses for the racing circuit.
My day starts at 6am. I have 12 horses of my own at home so I feed them first thing. Then I drive out to Ted’s to start at 7:30am. I am there three mornings a week so I usually exercise four or five horses, do some track work and schooling over hurdles and fences. From there I will head to The Curragh for about 11am. I freelance there so I meet different trainers every day and work their horses until around one in the afternoon.
Trainers come from all over the country to use the facilities there – they really are the best in Ireland. You have to keep yourself busy in this game because it is so competitive so I ride for a variety of trainers as much as possible. There are a lot of jockeys fighting for a small number of rides on the track. It’s definitely a one-man sport!
I then drive back to my yard in Kildangan and work on my own horses before they go to the main yards. I race most weekends and this time of year there are a lot of evening meetings, so there is lots of driving and late nights. I try to get finished by five or six on the evenings that I don’t have a race, and just take it easy. When you have your own horses there is always something else to be done though!
My racing life is more or less seven days a week, but in my spare time I follow the hurling. I have ten days without racing coming up this month and I’m getting married in the Heritage Hotel in Killinard which will be a nice break away from the stables! Other than that I might have two or three days in a row that I won’t race but…
For more about Ian McCarthy, Check out our July/August issue of GALWAYnow
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