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Next Gen | Luke Whitty

Image © Healy Racing

Name: Luke Whitty

Age: 19

From: Skeoughvosteen, Co. Kilkenny

Luke Whitty a native of Skeoughvosteen, Co. Kilkenny partnered his first point-to-point winner aboard the Aidan Fitzgerald trained Garm Colombe at Stradbally in May 2024. 

How did you get involved with horses?

My grandfather Jim Whitty passed away the year before I was born, but he would have been a big breeder of sport horses. He bred Puissance and Kilcoltrom to name some notable ones.

Growing up on the farm there were always a few mares around the yard leading to a keen interest in horses.

My father brought me to all the local point-to-points and race meetings growing up, that’s where I got my interest in horse racing.

I’m the first to go down the racing route as they would have all been into sport horses previously.

I had sat on ponies and mares when I was young, but I didn’t learn to ride until the age of eleven or twelve.

I went to a riding school to learn to ride. After learning the basics I had enough and wanted to hunt.

I did a season's hunting with the Kilkenny Hunt, and soon after I decided I wanted to work in a yard.

I can’t remember exactly when I started at Scobie’s, but I was still in school. I would go there any chance I got and learn how to ride racehorses from Scobie and all the lads in the yard.

The lads in the yard were very good to me when I started Troy Walsh and Richie Deegan, I learned a lot from them.

What was the first racehorse you ever sat on?

It was a mare called Light Lady. She was at Scobie’s at the time.

Do you work full-time?

Yeah, I work full-time at Scobie’s. I did my leaving cert last year and started full-time after that. I’m learning more every day.

How did the ride on Garam Colombe come about?

Scobie let me have the ride on Garam Colombe at Castlelands in March. That was an open and he finished fourth.
I was given another go on him at Ballindenisk where he ran well again and finished third.

We thought he would have a chance the next time he would run so I was delighted to be left ride him again!

Do you ride him out at home?

No Jen usually rides him out at home. She does a brilliant job with him and keeps him sweet.

Do you know what the plan for Garam Colombe is now?

No that is up to Scobie. He is entered for this weekend so we will see how he is.

Did you get some kick out riding your first point-to-point winner?

Yeah, I did it was class. I didn’t expect to be in front at all crossing the line! He was unreal.

Were your family there on the day?

No, my parents couldn’t make it but they were delighted nonetheless. My dad usually goes to all the point-to-points with me still.

Is there someone that you regularly seek advice from?

Yeah, Troy Walsh has been brilliant to me. He gives me loads of advice. Scobie is very good to me as well. He has taught me an awful lot.

Have you done the progression schooling course?

No, I haven't done it but it's on my mind to do it.

Did you walk the track with someone?

Yeah, I walked it with Troy. He has ridden it plenty of times. That was my first time riding it so it was great to walk the track with him. It’s a tricky track with a lot happening.

What’s the best advice you have been given?

If you do the small things right the bigger things will fall into place.

Was it always your plan to take out your license?

Yeah, it was always the plan since I was about ten.

We used to go to all the Gowran Park meetings, and I remember thinking I wanted to be a jockey.

As soon as I turned seventeen, I applied for it. I got my license in November and rode in my first race in December.

Who has been your biggest influence in racing?

My biggest influence is Scobie. He’s a good teacher as he’s done it all before.

What are your ambitions for the remainder of the season? 

There's not much of it left! The plan is to get as much experience as possible and learn as much as I can this summer to better next season.

For the summer, there will be breakers here so I will learn as much as I can about breaking horses as well.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just a big thanks to Scobie and Troy. And also, to Jen who has done a great job with Garam Colombe.

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