Jubilant teen jockey beats cyberbullies by winning biggest horse race of his career on Galway opening day
Jockey Aubrey McMahon beat the cyberbullies by winning the biggest horse race of his young life on the opening day of the Galway festival.
The 19-year-old was the winner of the €100,000 Connacht Hotel Handicap feature race at Galway on Monday - winning on Whiskey Sour for owner and dad Luke.
Five years ago, his dream of being a jockey lay in tatters due to bullying on social media.
"I always wanted to be a jockey," he said. "But after my sixth or seventh ride the anonymous taunting started, particularly on Twitter. It was after a race in Bellewstown, there were lots of anonymous tweets about me - I was called every name under the sun.
"After a few more races, I was starting to get paranoid .
"The bullying was getting in to my head and I was hard enough on myself as it was."
When he was 17, he left racing to focus on his job as a junior trader in Sandyford. But he came back, adding: "I'm so much stronger now, but more high-profile people need to speak out about cyberbullying and what it can do to people."