The following are just some of the riders who began their riding careers between the flags but have progressed to the track and in many cases with great success. We give special attention to those who have ridden over 100 winners and have been riding since the year 2000 as records are difficult to trace for some of the older riders.
The sport of Point to Pointing provides an ideal schooling ground for aspiring young riders who need a mix of courage, skill and resilience to the elements to compete against the many tough amateurs of which the Irish are known to have the very best. By flicking through the list below it will give you an idea of the quality and quantity of riders that are graduating each season to the paid ranks.
Champion Irish rider. Winner of Aintree Grand National on his fathers Bobbyjo. Paul’s pointing career was a short one lasting just a few weeks. It began at the old Bray Hunt course at Glencairn in Sandyford on the 11th February 1990 and one month later on the 11th March at the Ward Union Hunt fixture at Fairyhouse Carberry had his fifth and final point to point ride. His brother Thomas was the intended rider of Paul’s Hunter Golden Sea VI but he couldn’t get a licence so Paul having turned 16 on the Friday acquired a licence and rode on the Sunday.
Joseph Knibb was his first ride in an open carrying 13st and won cheekily! He then pulled up his Hunter Golden Sea VI in the seven year old and upwards maiden on the same card. A few more spins on the Open campaigner Joseph Knibb saw the pair take on the Foxhunters at Liverpool. Joseph Knibb duly provided Paul with another taste of jump racing however at Liverpool when catapulting him out of the saddle at the fourth in the Foxhunters in 1990 won by Lean Ar Aghaidh.
That was the end of Mr.P.Carberry. P.Carberry(10) the apprentice then joined Jim Bolger and the rest as they say is history.
Brian only rode two winners in point to points but has since had much success as a professional since making the switch and moving to England. He was well respected riding for Aidan O’Brien and Frances Crowley before he left but since joining Venetia Williams he has now a total of over 120 winners ridden on the park. He has partnered horses such as Bramblehill Duke, Indalo & Jocks Cross.
Kieran is a rider who rode one winner between the flags. Since turning professional he has ridden over 160 winners and has often not received the credit his talent deserves. Aidan O’Brien was one of the first to avail of his services before he moved to England for Geoff Hubbard and rode horses such as Strong Promise. He has since returned to Ireland as a freelance and regularly rides for Eamonn Sheehy among others.
Adrian Maguire was one of the finest jump riders this country has produced for many years. He took the Irish National on Omerta when still an amateur beating Charlie Swan on Cahervillahow in one of the best finishes the race has ever seen and he was equally persuasive in getting Cool Ground up to win a Gold Cup. He enjoyed much success with Toby Balding, David Nicholson and Ferdy Murphy in particular.
His emergence as a point to point rider was equally impressive. Nine winners in his first season (1990) hinted at what was to follow. In 1991 Adrian Maguire went head to head with John Berry for the title and it was one of the best battles ever fought for a title that the winning margin of four winners does not do justice to.
The 19th May at Dromahane will live long in the memory for anyone who witnessed the wonderful six timer that Maguire achieved that day. It is a shame that he had no ride in the Mares Maiden as he would most likely have gone through the seven race card given any sort of a reasonable conveyance. This still only left him level with Berry going into the final fixture at Kinsale but in winning the first four races on the opening day he achieved the necessary cushion he needed and also broke the number of winners ever ridden in a season with 38.
Birr rider. Rode 5 winners in 1997-1998 between the flags. Rode successfully as an amateur for Sean Treacy before turning professional. Has ridden over 150 winners since and has ridden for Ferdy Murphy, Kim Bailey & Robert Alner among others. Rode Clash Of the Gales& Kates Charm among others.
Rode 18 point to point winners in 1988-89 seasons. 5 winners in ’88 and then a solid score of 13 in ’89. Seven Months of that time was spent with P P Hogan. He had made a big impact as an amateur before ever turning professional and the move proved a lucrative one.
‘Stormin’ Norman gone on to become one of the most successful professionals ever to graduate from the sport to the paid ranks. Rode Master Oats to win a Gold Cup and in the same year Alderbrook took the Champion Hurdle ensuring Norman joined the elite band of riders who hav taken both races in one year.
He has also partnered many top class horses including Nick Dundee, Ned Kelly, Teeton Mill, Commanche Court and many others and his services have been utilised most through the years by Kim Bailey, Edward O’Grady, Ted Walsh, Venetia Williams among many others. Retired in October 2003 having ridden 1,268 winners.
Champion Irish Rider Ruby Walsh has taken an English National on his father’s Papillon and the pair also teamed up for an Irish National with Commanche Court. He has enjoyed much success on both sides of the water primarily for Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls.
Ruby’s point to point career was a short one. Having spent many Sundays watching his father Ted ride winners between the flags a young Ruby took out an amateur licence at 16. However such was the demand for his services that Sunday racing saw him invariably partnering bumper runners instead of pointers. With the progression to the paid ranks imminent he decided to at least taste the sport before his opportunity would be gone. With his father Teds Mickthecutaway in an ordinary four runner adjacent race at his local track Naas Ruby had his first point to point ride on the 28th March 1998. The 4/5 favourite made all to come home fifteen lengths clear of the remainder giving Walsh his one and only point to point winner.
At the season’s end at Balingarry he partnered two horses to pull up and finish third respectively on the same day that Enda Bolger broke the record for the riding more point to point winners than any other rider aboard Elegant Lord. It was then Walsh was to turn professional having at least tasted life between the flags.
Timmy Murphy is one of the most talented riders available to trainers on either side of the water at the moment. He is one of the strongest riders to have on your side in a finish and is an expert horseman over an obstacle. Having had his own problems along the way have merely highlighted his talent by the speed with which he has returns to the top flight.
A native of Kildare he had his first ride between the flags on Snuggledown for George Halford at Gowran when the pair fell at the second last. Later in the ’93 season at Kilmuckridge came the first winner when Gayloire an 8/1 shot saw off the John Berry partnered 9/4 fav Brandy Cross by a Short Head.
The following season Murphy rode 14 winners having joined Michael Hourigan and tied the Novice title with Kevin O’Sullivan.
In 1995 he rode 30 winners giving best to only Tony Martin’s 40 but at this stage he was set to progress to the park which he has done and his ability has shone through on many occasions since he beat John Berry by a short head in May 1993.
John was a well respected and tough amateur. He was the Eastern Champion in 2000 among the 55 winner he rode between the flags. He has ridden over 100 winners on the park. He is a thoroughly effective rider and is exceptionally strong in a finish. He has enjoyed success for Pat Hughes among others and rode pointing graduate Billy The Snake to a Leopardstown graded victory. Bob Treacy is another of the mounts he has taken and is becoming increasingly popular all the time.
Alan was based with Dessie Hughes while an amateur and rode three winners between the flags. After he turned professional he moved to England and joined Mary Reveley where he has ridden over 200 winners. Buddy Marvel and Rathbawn Prince are among the rides he has had.
Tipperary rider. Based in England as a successful freelance used by many of the top trainers. Has ridden for Martin Pipe, Noel Chance, Paul Nicholls, Sue Smith etc. and on the equine front he has partnered Looks Like Trouble, Edmond, Amberleigh House among others. Has ridden over 250 winners. Famously chased Dave Roberts out of Liverpool the year of the bomb scare to see if he would take him on. Roberts impressed at the initiative he showed took him on and the pair developed a successful relationship. Rode 3 winners between the flags in 1996.
Francis rode ten winners between the flags in the early nineties. His father Francis also rode winners in points with over thirty winners. Francis has ridden over 100 winners on the track on such horses as Hollybank Buck and Newhall.
OTHER RIDERS INCLUDE
Rode 6 winners 1988-'90 between the flags. Enjoyed success as an amateur between the flags inlcuding aboard Athy Spirit before joining the professional ranks.
Rode six winners in the ’75 campaign and also rode Chinrullah to win a Leopardstown Sweeps Hurdle.
Piltown former professional who rode three point to point winners from 1990-1992.
Rathkeale Rider. Rode ten winners in points from 1998-2003. Also rode as a professional in that time before turning back to ride as an amateur. Rider of Barrow Drive.
Rathcoffey Professional with Arthur Moore. Former leading amateur with Aidan O’Brien. Rode three winners between 1995 & 1996 between the flags.
Bridgetown trainer. Now training. Former rider of Cloney Grange. Rode 14 winners 1984-1987
Former top amateur with Paddy Mullins. Rode as a professional in England for Miss L.Williamson, D.McCain & R.C.Guest among others. Rode six pointing winners in 1996 & 1997.
Cork rider. Rode 5 point to point winners 1997-1999. Subsequently turned professional to ride in england.
Former Ballymore Eustace professional. Associated with many decent horses for among others Arthur Moore and also partnered Ebony Jane. Rode 15 point winners from 1985-1988.
Kilkenny based former professional who among among others displayed his talents aboard Nuaffe. Rode 6 point to point winners 1986-1989.
Delgany professional long associated with the Dermot Weld yard. Son of former pointing rider and trainer Alfie. David rode one winner in 1987. He also rode against his father in the Bishopscourt Cup Hunter Chase at Punchestown but both came to grief!
Limerick former professional now training. Rode a Cheltenham winner on Chance Coffey. Rode 7 point to point winners 1986-1987.
Former professional with Arthur Moore. Rode 10 point to point winner between 1986-1990.
Cork professional. Rode as an amateur accumulating 11wins in points 1992-1996 before turning to the paid ranks.
Drumree professional winner of an Irish Grand National on The Bunny Boiler. Son of ‘Tucker’ (trainer of What Odds Champion 2003) and brother of Champion rider Barry and point rider Norman.
Ross rode 6 winners between the flags from 1996-1999.
Tramore trainer. Former professional. Rode 17 winners between the flags 1990-1993 including a maiden success on Dorans Pride. Was champion novice in 1993 with 16 winners before turning professional. Has trained the winner of a McDonagh handicap at Galway in Sheer Tenby.
Fethard professional based with David Wachman. Rode 31 point to point winners from 2000-2002. Won a maiden on subsequent Powers Gold Cup winner Big and Bold and also won on the high class but ill fated Tuco. Was the novice champion in 2002 tying with Derek O’Connor with 16.
Former top Irish professional who won a Ladbroke Hurdle on Dance Beat and an Irish National on Maid Of Money. Rode 10 winners in 1983 pointing season. Was tragically killed in a car accident in 2003 when about to embark on a training career.
Dunmanaway rider. Brother of Noel (ND). Rode 27 winners 1996-2000 between the flags before turning professional.
Dunmanaway rider. Brother of Eamonn. Rode 48 winners from 1992 -1999 before turning professional and moving to England.
Slanemore rider. Formerly amateur on the Eastern circuit. Rode 22 winners between the flags 1996-1999. In 1999 he rode 19 winners and was the Eastern champion before turning professional and moving to England where he has enjoyed success for Mary Reveley among others and gained much success from pointing graduate Function Dream.
Croom rider. Brother of English based professional Ron. Successful English based amateur with Kim Bailey. Rode 3 point to point winners 1998-1999.
Former amateur with Aidan O’Brien. Finished 2nd in the park amateur title in 1995 before turning professional and moving to England. Rode 4 point to point winners from 1993-1995.
Croom rider. Brother of Des. English based professional. Rode 25 pointing winners from 1996-2000.
Curragh Trainer. Former top amateur and professional. Won Kim Muir on Flyers Nap for Robert Alner. Rode 16 pointing winners 1993-2002. Was a professional for some of that time before reverting to ride again as an amateur.
N. P. MADDEN
Niall 'Boots' Madden a native of County Clare was a very accomplished rider and enjoyed great success in the 1970s and 1980s. He rode several Cheltenham Festival winners and was associated with some class horses such as Golden Cygnet and Boreen Prince. He partnered 54 winners between the flags from (1975-1980).
Brendan rode in points in the late seventies and then went on to be a successful professional riding for Dermot Weld and Ted Walsh among others. He has now retired and joined the turf club and is still regularily seen officiating at points.
Former Tipperary professional. Rode in England for among others David Nicholson.
Former top Irish rider now working as an agent. Rode I’m Supposin, Jassu and Space Trucker among many others. Rode 2 point to point winners in 1984-1985.
Rode five winners between the flags 1988-1989.
Patrickswell Rider. Son of trainer Michael and professional Paul. Former leading amateur in England. Rode one winner in 1991 between the flags.
Son of Pat(rider of Arkle). Rode at the top level in Ireland while stable jockey to Arthur Moore before joining the training ranks. Rode an Irish National winner on Bentom Boy, and enjoyed much success on horses such as Feroda, Have A Barney Athy Spirit, Soft Day, Weather the Storm etc. Rode 11 winners in the 1982 season point to point season.
Clare professional. Lightweight professional with Arthur Moore. Rode 1 point to point winner in 2000.
Fermoy professional and trainer. Rode and trained the winner of the 2003 Galway in Sabadilla and rode 11 winners between the flags 1984-1987.
Portlaw Rider. Now English based professional and rider of Latalomne. Rode 7 winners from 1998-2000.
Cork Rider. Rode as a professional in England for Jenny Pitman among others. Rode 1 point to point winner in 1997.
Lismore professional who enjoyed much success between the flags. Rode 33 winners from 1992-1996. In that time he also rode a Cheltenham winner for Ferdy Murphy in Stop The Waller. As a professional has won the La Touche on Risk Of Thunder.
Rode 5 winner in the late seventies between the flags. Married Lady Champion of ’86 & ’90 Suzanne Finn. Rode Nick The Brief and Cool Ground. Trainer of Colonel Yeager.
Former top professional based in England. Rode many top class horses including Barton to win at Cheltenham. Now employed by the turf club he rode 3 winners in 1985-1986.
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