‘My heart wasn’t in it’ – Kilkenny’s Grand National winning jockey shocks racing world, retires aged 24
One of Ireland’s foremost jump jockeys, who hails from county Kilkenny has shocked the horse racing world by announcing his retirement from the saddle, aged just 24.
David Mullins, who hails from Goresbridge, made the announcement this morning in an interview with the Racing Post telling the bible of racing “my heart wasn’t in it.”
Mullins, son of trainer Tom Mullins and stable jockey for his uncle the leading trainer Willie Mullins, admitted: “The whole thing (horse racing) wasn’t for me.”
David has had a highly successful career, riding over 200 winners in Ireland and numerous others in the UK during his time in the saddle, is probably most famous for wining the 2016 Aintree Grand National aboard Ruler of the World.
In his interview with the Racing Post, Mullins said he was happy with his decision and has known for a while it was coming.
“I think I realised during Galway in 2019 that the whole thing wasn’t for me,” Mullins said.
“When you leave school at 16 you feel trapped into being a jockey.
“I just found that as a jockey you were always on call and never got a break. I’ve been trying to figure out loads of different things to do, but when you’re in the bubble it can be very hard to think outside of that bubble.”
“I was definitely going to retire at the end of this season, but it would have been unfair to owners and trainers if I continued to ride on any longer when my heart wasn’t in it.
“I know people will say that it’s a stupid time to retire but, when my decision was made, there was no point in continuing,” Mullins concluded.
Mullins CV is packed with big race wins aboard famous horses including two-time Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and the fan favourite Faugheen.