Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

'When I got to the top, I found that it wasn’t much fun' | Davy Russell

Jockey Davy Russell dropped into Friday Night Racing on Off the Ball where he spoke about finding...


'When I got to the top, I found that it wasn’t much fun' | Davy Russell

Jockey Davy Russell dropped into Friday Night Racing on Off the Ball where he spoke about finding balance in his career after an inauspicious start.

Tiger Roll's partner said horseracing wasn't as enjoyable when he became a jockey as he had imagined.

"When I turned professional, I thought it was going to be an awful lot easier," said Russell.

"I thought I was going to drive a big car and arrive at the races and ride horses. It's completely the opposite, it's pure graft.

"Day in day out, you have to have only one thing on your mind and that's horses, racing and everything that goes with it, you have to be totally committed."

“Some lads are not ready at certain times to give that full commitment. If you’re willing to give out about it, you must take the criticism," reflected the dual Grand National winner.

“I saw I wasn’t giving it everything, so I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of it."

At the time Russell felt that he had to stay within himself and be 100% driven but found that came at a price.

“I wasn’t the nicest fella to be around, I was pretty much tunnel vision. I was probably a bit too much and I had to learn to tone that down in later life. You have to find the mix on dedicating yourself and enjoying yourself.

“When I got to the top, I found that it wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be. I had to start enjoying myself. Now I have a lot of people supplying me with horses, so that became easier for me to enjoy the races.”

The former Gigginstown retained rider found trying to ape the attitude of AP McCoy was difficult, so decided to be a little like another former jockey too.

“I wasn’t seeing the fun side to AP so what I did was try and take a bit of Paul Carberry and a bit of AP and put the two of them together.

“As I grew older and after spending time with AP, I found out that he’s not the man we all see. He enjoys himself as much as everyone else.”

Now in his 40s, Russell said he never thought he could love something more than racing until he got a family.

“When my first child was born, I was 22, so I needed to mature quickly which I don’t know if I did. It was just at that time fully focused on racing.

“After a while, I didn’t realise I could love something as much as my wife and my children. I just adore them so much. I didn’t think that was in me.”

Davy Russell and Jim Bolger Hurling for Cancer

Davy Russell was speaking as a supporter for the annual Hurling for Cancer fundraiser. This year Hurling For Cancer Research 2020 goes virtual with all money donated to Irish Cancer Society.

Instead of Jim Bolger’s and Davy Russell’s teams lining-out in St Conleth’s Park on Tuesday, August 11, a host of stars will take part in a virtual hurling skills challenge to raise much-needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society’s cancer research.

Anyone can participate in the challenge. The Irish Cancer Society just ask those taking part to make a donation to help the charity continue their vital work to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.

Just follow these simple steps: 1. Make a donation via:

2. Share your skill on Instagram or Twitter, tagging Hurling For Cancer and Irish Cancer Society (@Hurling4cancer and @irishcancerSoc on Twitter and @hurling4cancer and @irishcancersociety on Instagram) with the hashtag #hurlingforcancer

3. Nominate three friends to take on the challenge and show us their skill.

Online Auction

If showing your skills online isn’t your thing, you can still support Hurling For Cancer Research and pick up some once in a lifetime memorabilia and experiences via a dedicated online auction. The full list of auction items is now available to view at

The online auction closes on Tuesday August 11 at 6:30pm, on what should have been throw-in time for the 2020 renewal.

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Davy Russell Horse Racing Horse Racing Ireland Irish Jockey Racing