Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

I'm in no rush to follow dad into training - Mullins

Jockey Patrick Mullins
Jockey Patrick Mullins
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Champion amateur jockey Patrick Mullins has said he has no desire to follow in the footsteps of his trainer father Willie Mullins.

Though the Carlow jockey helps his father with some of the 160 horses which are currently in their yard, he says he equates training horses with "marriage and mortgage".

"I'm in no rush. I'd have training down with marriage and mortgage. I like my freedom and it's much easier being a jockey. You can get down off a horse and drive home," he told sports writer Colm Keyes on the Irish Independent Talks stage at the Ploughing Championships.

"As a trainer, you have to explain to the owner, you have to look at the horse the next day and make a new plan. Being a jockey is a much, much easier job. There's a lot of stress. I see what my father does. You think everyone wants to be the champion trainer, but there's so much more to it - you have to deal with so many owners, so many horses, so many staff and there's a lot of stress involved. I'm in no rush to get into that."

Fellow jockey Bryan Cooper also told how doctors feared he would lose his leg when he fell at Cheltenham last year.

The 23-year-old, who is retained by Gigginstown House, broke his leg twice in the last two-and-a-half years.

"It was a bad break the second time at Cheltenham. I shattered my tibia and fibula, it was a compound fracture and there was basically a total chip taken out of the bone. It was about an inch-and-a-half of the bone that just totally broke off," he told the audience.

"It was a very bad break. I was lucky, I was very well looked after in Cheltenham. I went to Bristol Hospital, which was probably one of the best hospitals in the UK at the time.

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"It was a tough road. I was out for eight-and-a-half months with physio and recovery... you try not to think about it."

Irish Independent

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