Congratulations to Ryan who has taken a position with the BHA and will start in March.
Ryan's ambition has been to join the BHA team of starters and through volunteering to start Arab races he gained valuable experience. Only a quarter of Ryan's new position will be starting, the rest of the time he will be working at the races, checking horses identities, signing stable staff into the yard and taking urine samples for analysis. When a full time starter's job becomes available he should be in a great position to get it. The only downside for Ryan is that the job is based in Epsom, meaning relocation.
The 31st May 2014 was a day Ryan won't forget riding San Cassiono to win a Gentleman Amateur Riders Race at York.
At the time I wrote "Ryan had 7 rides as an amateur last year including winning on Hab Reeh at Hamilton but unfortunately Ryan is built to play Rugby not be a jockey and hadn't intended to ride again on the rack. However with his licence due to expire at the end of June and a lifelong ambition to ride a his local track, York, Ryan asked me if we had anything that he could ride (and do the weight for) in the gentleman amateur riders race! It was decided that San Cassiano would be a suitable horse for the race if his owners were agreeable. Stan was entered and Ryan prayed for the rain to stop.
A couple of dry days left the ground as good to soft but still too easy for Stan on all his previous winning form. Ryan said he was more excited to ride at York than he was for his first ride at Hamilton and although we'd talked about holding him up if there was going to be plenty of pace when Ryan came to the paddock it appeared that no one else wanted to go forward so we reverted back to Stan's usual racing style of making the running.
To none racing folk making the running may look easy but judging pace is definitely not! Stan jumped out of the stalls well and Ryan tracked him across from his outside draw and set a sensible gallop. Turning for home they were still going well and the other runners were starting to work in behind. A furlong out we're still in front with Ryan and Stan fending off the challengers to win by half a length. It was a dream come try for Ryan to ride a winner at York Racecourse, just a stones throw from where he lives! For me and the rest of the team at Mowbray winners at York are very special and to have a winner ridden by one of the team was a fairy tale."
At the other end of the scale in October 2014 Ryan took a very nasty fall on the gallop which resulted in the Air Ambulance taking him to Leeds General Infirmary. What most times would be a simple fall from a jinking horse was really nasty and Ryan damaged his liver and had internal bleeding. At the time we thought Ryan was young and fit, didn't need an operation and was expected to be released from hospital after about a fortnight. The reality was if it could go wrong it did and Ryan was still in hospital at Christmas having been released for a day or two before being rushed back into York District with a life threatening complication. However when Ryan finally did start to recover properly he recovered quickly and was back at work surprisingly soon.
Ryan has worked for us for over 5 years, been a great member of the team and has led up and looked after a lot of winners for us. We wish him every success in his new career and look forward to seeing him on our trips south although I won't be calling him "Sir" when asking for permission for a horse to go into the stalls last!