11 time Irish National Hunt Champion Jockey Ruby Walsh retires after riding it Kemboy to victory at the Punchestown Gold Cup!
Ruby Walsh announced he was retiring on Wednesday. He was racing in the Punchestown Gold Cup, which is near to where he lives, and he won the race for the seventh time on Kemboy. This was to be his 213th and last Grade 1 win.
He had a fantastic record winning pretty much all there was to win in horse racing. Cheltenham Festival was where Walsh flourished. He holds the current record for the most race wins at the festival with 59. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the biggest race of the festival and he won that twice on Kauto Star in 2007 and 2009.
Walsh has also been the leading jockey at the festival a massive 11 times. However, the past two festivals weren’t his best. In 2018 he broke his leg in the RSA Novice Chase after falling off Al Boum Photo. This year he didn’t get injured but only managed one winner with Klassical Dream, which is his lowest tally since 2003!
It was just at Cheltenham Ruby Walsh flourished. He won the Grand National twice. Once in 2000 with Papillon and then again in 2005 with Hedgehunter. It was his first win that really put him on the map. At the time he was only 21 and this was the first real big win of his career.
Walsh developed a fantastic relationship with Kauto Star. He rode him to five King George IV Chase wins, held on Boxing Day. No horse has won the race more than Kauto Star and no jockey has ridden more winners than Ruby Walsh. They won it for four consecutive years from 2006-09 and then again in 2011.
But with some a fantastic career comes a list of injuries. Ruby Walsh has broken the majority of the bones in his body and even had to have his spleen removed after a fall at Cheltenham in November 2008. He returned to racing just 27 days later!
He has signed out with some big wins. At the end of April, he went on to win the Irish Grand National on Burrows Saint.
Walsh is now hoping for a career in the media and we’re sure there will be TV broadcasters queuing up to get him to work for them!