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'We used to ride donkeys bareback' | Kevin Brouder on his start in racing

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

08:31 7 Feb 2020

Jockey Kevin Brouder has revealed that his love for horse racing actually started with riding donkeys, not horses.

The jockey from Listowel, County Kerry was speaking on Friday Night Racing and went into his slightly unorthodox beginning in the sport.

Kevin’s brother Gearoid is in pony racing and he spoke about how the two made a competition out of riding the local donkeys bareback.

“We had a few donkeys. They were drawing the turf back in the old days and we kind of just kept it going. There were always four or five donkeys out in the front lawn. That’s how we actually started off.

“We used to go into the house there - my mother’s home place, my uncles living there now - and we used to all get together on a Sunday.

“We’d all have two or three quid from my mother and we’d all put up the table and jump up and give it to the donkeys over the dike. Whoever got over it would take the money home.

“So that’s how we did it. You could say there were donkeys always there but not horses. We started off bareback and hunting around the roads. It started off from there then.

While it may not have been the safest of past times for him and his brother, he explained that his family were just happy to see them get out of the house for a while.

“Oh, we were wild. I’d say they were delighted to see us going to get us out of the house.

The Brouder brother’s careers did eventually move away from riding donkey’s bareback, however, with Kevin going to Tom Cooper’s racing yard as a 14-year-old.

He went on to spend time in England with David Evans, David Barron and Jonjo O'Neill before returning to Ireland on a full-time basis in 2017.

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