When Robbie Walsh came to the U.S. from Ireland in 2001, he never meant to stay. And he certainly had no intention of becoming one of the top steeplechase jockeys in the business. But that’s exactly how things played out.
Success on this side of the pond wasn’t instantaneous, but it did come. He rode his first winner over jumps in 2002, but his big break came the following year when trainer Paul Rowland tapped him to ride Preemptive Strike.
“He’s the one who got me going. I won the Carolina Cup on him and a couple of Grade 2s.”
Robbie’s Big Horse, however, was unquestionably 2014 Eclipse Champion Demonstrative. The pair won the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes-G1, the Lonesome Glory Handicap-G1, and Saratoga’s New York Turf Writer’s Cup Steeplechase Handicap-G1 in 2012 and 2014.
“Demonstrative is the best jumper I’ve ever ridden,” he said.
Plagued by multiple career-stalling injuries over the years, Robbie retired from race riding at the end of 2015 after re-breaking his hip at Far Hills.
He is now our full-time leading work rider at Herringswell and is our go-to person when it comes to breezing the top horses in the barn. His past experience riding top class horses is invaluable and during his five years here, he’s been on a few decent horses! The list is a virtual Who’s Who: Kentucky Derby Winning Animal Kingdom, Toby’s Corner, Aruna, Shared Account, Smart Bid, Ring Weekend, dual-Eclipse Champion Main Sequence, and current stable stars Miss Temple City and Quidura, amongst others.