By Simon Clifford.
The next time you go racing and see the likes of Tony McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty riding winners galore, spare a thought for the likes of Shane Shortall, as life as a jockey it’s not always a bed of roses.
Shortall started out at Jim Derwin’s in Athlone at the age of six and is now tipped to be one of the rising stars of the saddle.
“It’s not a racing yard but a dealers yard, they have a riding school and that’s where he started. They got me doing a bit of ponyracing and showjumping and I fancied a bit of the Ponyracing more,” said Shortall.
After enjoyed his time with the Derwin’s, Shortall was sent to Tom Hogan’s – a trainer is based just outside of Nenagh – to be an apprentice, only for injury to strike.
“I got an injury to my knee and was out for six months. Then nature took hold and I was too heavy to be on the flat after that really,” he said.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World