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Next Generation | Rider - Susie Doyle

Next Generation | Rider - Susie Doyle

Susie Doyle is set to have her first ride at the Cheltenham Festival aboard Samanntom in the Foxhunters on Friday.

Trained by her father Pat, the eleven-year-old is proving a fantastic schoolmaster having also provided the Tipperary-native with her first winner between the flags back in the autumn.

The nine-time winner ensured his qualification for Cheltenham when finishing second at Thurles in a Hunters Chase back in January, while also providing Doyle with her first ride under rules in the process. 

From a family steeped in racing, Susie will certainly be one to keep an eye out for on Friday.

Next Generation | Rider

Name: Susie Doyle
Area: Holycross, Tipperary.

It is safe to say you are from quite a racing family?

Yeah, both my parents run the yard, obviously my dad trains but my mother does a lot around the yard aswell. Jack, my brother is a jockey in America  and my sister Shannie rode a bit as well.  

Were you always interested in racing?

I have always loved the point-to-pointing, it’s great seeing the young horses from the yard go on and progress through the ranks.

I was probably more invovled in show jumping and eventing when I was younger. I always enjoyed going racing and being involved in the yard but I never thought I would actually ride in a race.

What encouraged you to go and take out your licence?

We had a schoolmaster in the yard, Sir Des Champs and Dad said I could have a few spins on him. I ended up catching the bug and showjumpers went out the window! 

Have you had the chance to ride out anywhere else?

I ride out for Robert Tyner sometimes when I am down in Cork, he has been very good to me. It helps with the fitness levels and it is also great to get more experience. I enjoy seeing how he trains as well.  

You're going to college too?

I am in my 2nd year of marketing in CIT. I am in college Monday to Thursday, so I try and get home as much as possible to school and ride out.

You had a great start to the season when Sammantom won at Turtulla back in the Autumn?

He was very good that day, he always runs best when he is fresh. It was great to have my first winner at our local track, it’s only 10 minutes down the road.

It was just a brilliant day, it was super to have Jack back from America as well, as it was actually the first day he saw me ride.  I just have to wait for the next one to come now!

It looks like you are going to get to ride him in the Foxhunter now on Friday?

He is definitely running, I don’t even have my licence a year yet so it’s an amazing experience to come over here.  

Has this been the target for a while?

Not really, I rode him in the Hunters Chase at Thurles back at the end of January and when he was placed that qualified him for the Foxhunters.

The original plan was just to have a bit of fun on him for the season, but after he qualified we said why not! It was only on Monday morning we found out that he was getting into the race.

When is he travelling over?

We were going to head over on Tuesday but we had to come on Monday, as there was no ferries on Tuesday. It was a bit of a rush to get over, we found out at 10am that he was getting in and we had to be on the road by 11! 

He has settled in well over here, he rode out this morning and he was brilliant. It’s amazing to have a horse to bring over and whatever happens after that will be a bonus.

You must be looking forward to Friday?

Absolutely, he is a great jumper and I am just going to enjoy it. I never even thought I would ride in a race, so to be riding at Cheltenham is amazing.

Have you anything else to ride before the season is out?

We just have Sammantom for this year and we are going to try and get another horse for next year so I can keep getting more experience.

What are your plans for the future?

I am hoping to keep doing what I am doing, combining college and riding. I just want to keep getting more experience and see where it takes me.

Who has been your biggest influence in racing or who would you look up to?

Rachael Blackmore would be a big inspiration to me, we would be very friendly and I used to ride a few ponies for her. She has been great helping me out, especially when I had my first ride on the track back in January.

Aine O’Connor is another very good lady rider who is doing great and Davy Russel was always around our yard when I was growing up and has been a big influence.

Finally do you have any interest outside of racing?

I used to play a bit of rugby and hockey, but I got a shoulder injury so all that got put on hold. I would still have a big interest in the rugby and obviously show jumping as well.


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