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Ruby Walsh has been one of the most successful jockeys in national hunt racing during the past decade. Whilst Walsh has had to play second fiddle to Tony McCoy in England, he has been the most successful jockey in Irish racing. He made his debut in the season of 1998/1999, and has won the Irish Champion Jockey title seven times since then.
Ruby Walsh turned pro in the 1998/1999-season, after winning the Irish Amateur Jockey Championship twice in his teens. His ability as a jumps jockey was revealed at the 2000 Grand National, when he won the most prestigious handicap race in national hunt racing at first attempt, before proceeding to win the Irish Grand National just weeks later.
Ruby Walsh mainly races for Paul Nicholls when competing in England, and partners Willie Mullins in his Irish races. This places him in an excellent position to ride some of the most talented horses in national hunt racing, and has allowed him to amass an impressive collection of big race wins.
Ruby Walsh is the only jockey competing in national hunt racing to have won all four of the Nationals, claiming a rare single-season treble of Irish, English and Welsh Grand National wins in 2006. He has won the Grand National at Aintree twice, and won the Scottish National in 2002.
Walsh has been equally impressive at the Cheltenham Festival, and has partnered some of the finest racehorses in the sport to victories in both of the festival’s feature steeplechases. Walsh has yet to win either the World Hurdle or Champion Hurdle.
Besides his wins at Cheltenham and Aintree, Walsh also has an imposing record in other major national hunt races, having won the King George VI Chase, the Tingle Creek Chase and the Hennessy Gold Cup. Walsh’s performance earned him the distinction of becoming the first recipient of the British Horseracing Board Jockeys’ Order of Merit award.
At the 2009 Cheltenham Festival Ruby Walsh caused a sensation by riding 7 winners over the course of the four day festival, easily claiming the Top Jockey title. Walsh’s exploits at the event included guiding Kauto Star as he reclaimed the Cheltenham Gold Cup from Denman.
Born on the 14th of May 1979 in County Kildare, Ireland, Ruby Walsh is the son of successful Irish national hunt trainer Ted Walsh. Walsh remains a resident of County Kildare with his wife Helen, but routinely crosses the Irish Sea to race for Paul Nicholls. Walsh has sustained several serious injuries during his career, and recently had his spleen removed after suffering a serious fall during a race.