Tuesday 27 September 2016

Paralysed jockey Robbie McNamara returns to saddle and sets sight on training career

Published 26/07/2015 | 13:08

Robbie McNamara posted this image of himself with his old mount Forgotten Rules at Moyglare Stud on Twitter this week
Robbie McNamara posted this image of himself with his old mount Forgotten Rules at Moyglare Stud on Twitter this week

Inspirational jockey Robbie McNamara has returned to the saddle just months after a fall that left him with no movement from the waist down.

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McNamara got back up on a horse for the first time at the Festina Lente Equestrian Centre in Bray, Co Wicklow on Friday.

The hugely popular figure in racing is still recovering from his life-saving surgery following a fall at Wexford in April.

Despite his adversities, McNamara plans to leave the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighaire in September before beginning a career in training.

“The goal is get out of here, get working,” he said in an interview with the Racing Post. “That’s the long-term goal: get back to my life. You ask anyone five years ago whether if I had a choice between riding and training and they’d tell you that I’d have given up riding in the morning – training was always what I wanted to do.

“I know I’m not going to start off with any €200,000 horses in the yard, so I’ve got to be realistic. I’ll base myself in the Curragh to begin with but if I could get up to a certain number I could move home to Limerick and do it up, there’s 35 or so stables at home at the minute.

“I know I was lucky in my career to be able to ride out in Dermot Weld’s, in Jessie’s, in Willie’s. From day one I wanted to be a trainer so I’ve always kept my eyes open and tried to learn how different trainers do things.”

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