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Adam McNamara jockeying for position

View profile for Paul Burkinshaw
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As part of its commitment to supporting young talent in horse racing, Harrowells crafted an innovative sponsorship arrangement in early 2016 with apprentice jockey Adam McNamara, apprentice jockey. In this post we catch up with Adam at the end of the 2016 season.

When 19 year old Adam won the Ebor, Europe’s richest flat handicap, on Heartbreak City at York in August, his ride was described by Irish trainer, Tony Martin, for whom he was riding, as one of "sheer brilliance." Not surprisingly, Adam cites his success on the Knavesmire, as the most important in a season in which he rode 53 winners throughout the UK, including 39 in the apprentice championship from 346 rides. By the end of the season in October, not only was he third in the Stobart Apprentice Jockey Championship 2016 but he had also been named Stobart Jockey Of The Month for August in an award run by Channel 4 Racing.

He says: "I’m very driven. Winning is a big thrill. I want to win every race and if I do not win, I’m not happy. It is great to have the financial rewards of winning at my age but it is far from everything. I love the riding, the winning, the whole life." Born in Limerick in the Irish Republic, Adam started by playing polocrosse - a type of Irish hurling on horseback - at Limerick Polocrosse Club – when he was 14. Two years later he moved to point-to-point trainer, John Gleeson, in Limerick who recognised his potential and sent him to his current trainer, Richard Fahey, one of the most celebrated in the sport, at Musley Bank, Malton.

Adam says: "I’m out riding different horses every day. Although I’m apprenticed to Richard Fahey, I’m free to ride for other trainers when I’m not riding for him. At the start of a week you never know who you may have raced for and at which courses by the weekend and the variety is exciting. Some days you may ride in three races while in others it could be six or seven. You also have to keep very fit. Racing fitness is not like going to a gymnasium as you use different muscles for controlling a horse. Being a jockey is very busy and very hard work but, if you are committed and enjoy it, this is a very enjoyable life."

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