I don’t think any of us saw this coming.
A week out from Goffs Thyestes Day at Gowran Park, Grand National-winning jockey David Mullins has announced his retirement from the saddle aged just 24.
As reported by the Racing Post, the young Mullins says the lifestyle is relentless.
“When you leave school at 16 you feel trapped into being a jockey. It’s relentless. There is no break.”
Speaking to the ‘Post’s David Jennings, Mullins revealed that his heart was no longer in the game and that he struggled with the lifestyle required.
He also goes on to say he was “at peace with his decision and has known for more than a year that it was not the right career path” for him.
“I think I realised during [the] Galway [festival] in 2019 that the whole thing wasn’t for me. When you’re in the racing bubble and riding horses it’s very hard to think outside of that bubble and I needed to get out of it.”
Despite only being in his early 20s, Mullins took a big win in 2016, scooping the Aintree Grand National on board Rule The World for Mouse Morris. He was just 19 at the time.
The Kilkenny man departs the saddle with no fewer than nine Grade One wins under his belt including wins with Bellshill, Kemboy and Al Boum Photo.
He retires from racing with 211 Irish winners on his CV.
Son of trainer Tom and nephew of champion trainer Willie Mullins, David David now intends to turn to sales and already counts Court Maid among his own purchases.
“The buying and selling of horses is something I would definitely hope to get more involved in. I get as much of a buzz out of that as I did riding winner”, he says.