Live

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

OTB Gold

Videos

"It's something that's going to be a thing of the past soon" | Aine O'Connor on female flat jockeys breaking the mould

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

04:01 6 Dec 2019

Four days ago, Aine O’Connor achieved the first double of her career at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival.

She rode Demi Plie to a win in the Mares' Handicap Chase and then also followed that up on Brawler in the Handicap Hurdle.

In the afterglow of that success, O'Connor joined us on Friday Night Racing.

"First ever double and it was completely by chance," she said.

"Peter Fahey was looking for someone to ride his horse because Darragh O'Keeffe hurt his thumb.

"He wasn't able to take the rides so I just got lucky and won on that [horse]. It was the first time riding [Brawler]."

As an amateur rider, her day job is as a RACE recruitment officer.

RACE Recruitment

"So I go out to schools, pony racing, different shows and riding schools, urban horse projects and pony club as well," she explained.

"I try to recruit 15, 16-year-olds in to do our trainee jockey course. You just need to be 15-turning-16 before the 31st of December that year and you need to be nine stone in and around. You can't be much heavier. We do, the odd time, if we think someone is very suitable, we'll bring them in. And if we think we can help them to get their weight down, we'll have a chat with them and then you might be able to come onto the course then. They have to pass the suitability test."

She added that they tend to take on about 60 on trial, with 30 spaces on the 10-month course.

"It is competitive," she added.

Aine O'Connor, Aine O'Connor and Johnny Ward

O'Connor also explained that for those who find that being a jockey isn't the career path they want to continue on, other alternatives are provided within the industry.

"Even the change in them within the year is unbelievable," she continued.

"I started in February last year and the group that were there graduated in June. There was such a difference in them. They just grew up in confidence and they'd chat to you."

Flat Racing

She also spoke about her role in helping to open the female races on the flat to apprentice and amateur jockeys.

"There isn't a lack of talent there. I think there's a lack of opportunity," she said.

"I think it's something that's going to be a thing of the past soon. Because the girls are stepping forward. More girls are coming forward to do the course."

You can watch the full interview with Aine O'Connor above via our YouTube channel. Friday Night Racing is in association with Horse Racing Ireland.


Read more about

Aine O'Connor Friday Night Racing Horse Racing Horse Racing Ireland Off The Ball Race

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Up next

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-09:30 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

09:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Golf Weekly

Golf Weekly

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on