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Next Generation | Rider - Barry Walsh

Barry Walsh steered home his fourth career success at Tinahely last Sunday when Loggan Lady took the winners of two.

This was a true family success as the winner is owned, bred and trained by the riders’ father. With over 150 rides to his name, the 23-year-old has plenty of experience and further success shouldn’t be too far away for the Wexford native.

Next Generation | Rider

Name: Barry Walsh

Age: 23

Area: Ballyday, Wexford

How did your involvement in point-to-pointing begin?

We have a long family history in point-to-pointing, both my father and my brother Aaron rode between-the-flags, so there would have always been point-to-pointers in at home.

From a young age I was involved in pony club, I did plenty of hunting and I was big into the pony games and hunter trialing. I started riding out as soon as I was able and always wanted to take out my point-to-point licence.  

Did you go to college after you finished in school?

After my leaving cert I went to Gurteen and Athlone IT for two years and did the business and equine studies course. I was riding out and going point-to-pointing at the weekends when I was home from college.

You rode your first winner in 2015 aboard Ballydarsi?

That was a great day, she won a maiden at Grennan. She was a home bred mare, we tend to do well with the mares’ and we always keep a few for breeding at home.

Did you go riding out full time after you finished in college?

I spent a year with James Nash on the Curragh and then I went to Peter Maher’s for almost two years after that, I had a few good spins from Peter on the track while I was there.

Who are you based with now?

I am in Sean Doyle’s in the mornings, it’s a great place to work and all the lads get on well, which makes a big difference. We get to do plenty of schooling, I'm enjoying it in there.

Do you help with the horses at home?

When I come back from Sean’s we do our own few in the evenings.

It must have been great to have a local success for your father at Tinahely on Sunday?

It was a very good day, Loggan Lady is another home bred and her mother had won a good few around there for us as well, I think she holds the record for being the winning-most mare around Tinahely. This mare won her maiden around there and has been second and third on her other two runs at the track.

What are your own plans for the future?

I would like to stay point-to-pointing, train a few at home and try to ride away for other lads. I just want to enjoy it while I can.

What improvements would you like to see in point-to-pointing?

The novice riders races are a help, but the numbers haven’t really come back to what they used to be. When you see the entries, most of them are handlers entering horses for lads in the yard so it is hard to get rides in them.

How about another rider you think might be up-and-coming?

I work with Jamie Scallan and he is doing very well at the minute. I think there is a few other lads coming through and they should do well in time.

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

You would have to look up to the likes of Jamie, Derek and Barry O’Neill. They are as good as any professional and are really showing that amateurs are just as good.

Do you do any sport outside of racing?

I used to play a bit of hurling and football when I was younger. but I don’t have time for anything else anymore.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Work hard, keep your head down and enjoy it!


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