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NEXTGEN: Shane Baragry

NEXTGEN: Shane Baragry


Shane Baragry is the latest rider to star in our Next Generation feature following his first ever double at Bartlemy last Sunday.

The 19-year-old, who is following in the footsteps of his father Jerry, recorded that initial career two-timer aboard DJ Sasha trained by Padraig Higgins and Michael Winters’ Hahadi in the final two races at the Cork fixture.

One of the young riders making a name for himself on the Cork-Waterford circuit, the Fermoy native has now ridden 11 winners between the flags, building on the success that he achieved in a spell pony racing.

Name: Shane Baragry
Age: 19
Area: Fermoy

How did you become involved in racing?

I have grown up around racing so it has been around all my life really.

My father Jerry was a jockey and rode in point-to-point’s so I have followed in his footsteps. He rode 99 winners between the flags before he had to retire due to his weight. He would have started training some horses whilst he was still riding and he is still at it, so there have always been horses around at home.

My father was a big help to get me started and I would have gone out hunting when I was about six or seven with the Conna Harriers. I would have done a good bit of hunting to start off before I moved on to pony racing after that.

I spent four years pony racing and would have got a lot of experience from that riding ponies for the likes of Ernest Tyner. I rode about 15 winners in total pony racing before I took out my license to ride in point-to-points.

We always had point-to-pointers at home so even when I was at school I would have ridden out on weekends, so it was always in the back of my mind to ride in point-to-points.

I rode my first winner aboard Heez All Talk up in Loughrea. He is a horse that came to my father’s yard having pulled-up in a good few of his runs, but we just seemed to click with him for whatever reason. It was great that my first winner point-to-pointing was for my father – he actually gave me my first two winners.

There would be four point-to-pointers still at home at the moment, but I’m riding freelance now. I would ride out for John Murphy, Batty Connell, Jeanette Riordan and Sean Aherne. All their yards are quite close together, they would only five minutes away from each other, so there is not too much driving required.

What is your earliest racing memory?

I would have went racing almost every weekend with my father and I would say the first memory that I have would have been going racing with him when I was only five or six. We were racing somewhere over in Wexford and we had a winner.

We had gone racing with two horses - one ended-up winning and the other finished third, so it was definitely a good early memory!

How have you found establishing yourself as a rider?

I was very lucky. I had my father in the background and he was a huge help getting me going, along with likes of Sean Aherne, Batt O’Connell and so many others who have always put me up on horses.
It is very hard for the young lads to get going who don’t have that. There are just so many jockeys around now compared to the number of rides that are available.

The novice races are great. They give young riders a chance to get their name out there, but it’s not easy. This year seems to be particularly tough. There don’t seem to be as many rides around as there was last year, but all you can do is keep the head down and keep working away.

Who has been your biggest influence?

My father would definitely have to be my biggest influence.

I have got a lot of advice of him since I started riding. He would have brought me pony racing almost every weekend during the summer, so he has always been there with me.

What has been your best day’s riding?

It has to be Bartlemy on Sunday with my first double. It is not too often you get a double, so it was brilliant.

I was hopeful that Dj Sasha would run well in the confined. She was second at Inch this year and then fourth at Stradbally, so I thought that she would go close. She was actually my first ever ride in a point-to-points at Killeagh back in 2016.

The ride on Hahadi for Michael Winters was a spare ride. I only picked that up about 30-minutes beforehand. That was my first ride for Mike so it was great that it turned out to be a winner and he did it very well in the end. They had thought a lot of him as a younger horse so it was great that he showed that on Sunday.

Bartlemy is nearly a local track for me, it is only 10-minutes over the road, so there were a heap of people there on the day supporting me which was great.

Do you have any of your own horses?

I have an open horse of my own Kentucky Star. He has run twice this year and pulled-up in both on bad ground. I would say he would want some nicer ground so we will hopefully get some better runs from him.

We went over to Doncaster last year and got from the sales there, he had won twice over hurdles on the track. We were looking for an open lightweight horse and he was the one we came home with.

He is entered in the Ladies Open at Dromahane on Sunday, and hopefully Jody Townend will ride him. We are just looking to get another run into him before the season is out.

Would you have set yourself a goal for this season?

At the start of the year I was trying to go for the novice rider’s title. I was third in it last year with seven winners, so I was aiming for it this year, but things just haven’t worked out.
There haven’t been as much opportunities this year so we will have another crack at it next year.

Give us a horse to watch out for?

Sean Aherne has a nice horse to watch out for, it’s a five-year-old by Milan. I have ridden him in some work and he goes well.

Do you play any sports outside of racing?

I used to play hurling for my local club Castlelyons GAA, but I gave that up to ride horses.
I just didn’t have enough time to training with it all, so it’s just all horses now.

Have you any plans for the summer?

I will probably take a bit of time off to get a break once the season ends. I might take two weeks off and then I am thinking of going riding out in one of the big yards for the summer to get some more experience.

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