Episode 253: Greg Ryan

54:58
 
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A long overdue chat with a hard working jockey who would have competed at the highest metropolitan level had he so desired, but Greg Ryan preferred life in the bush. He talks about his early life in Wellington NSW and his days as a motor mechanic.

Greg talks of his introduction to thoroughbreds at the Macquarie Stud and the conversation with another jockey who encouraged him to consider a riding career.

He talks of his first apprenticeship in Wellington and the battle he had to lose 10kgs before he could get started as a race rider.

Greg recalls his very first winner in 1991. It was really only half a win as he dead heated with a horse ridden by another legendary country jockey. He reveals that he had to go way out west to get started.

The veteran jockey pays tribute to some wonderful country riders who became role models.

He looks back on a brief stint in Sydney in 1998. He rode winners for some top stables but couldn’t adapt to city living.

He acknowledges the support he got from legendary bush trainer Keith Swan and discusses his strike rate in big races like the Wellington Boot.

Greg brushes through a list of talented horses he’s been associated with, and talks of the improvement in bush race tracks.

The jockey looks back on the few clashes he’s had with country stewards and one particular case that still haunts him.

Greg pays tribute to his wife Pauline and the role she’s played in his frantically busy career.

He agrees his injury list has been reasonable in view of the enormous number of rides he’s had in almost thirty years. One of those accidents has remained a source of amusement to Greg and those who witnessed it.

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