"The truth is I've never actually worked a day in my life" - Russell bows out on his own terms 3 months ago

"The truth is I've never actually worked a day in my life" - Russell bows out on his own terms

After 20 years as a professional jockey, Davy Russell has retired from race-riding.

A jockey who has won it all, Gold Cups, Grand Nationals, you name it, his last winner came in Thurles on Sunday, aboard Liberty Dance in a novice's handicap hurdle.


At 43, the Youghal native has experienced it all, highs, lows, wins, losses, injuries - none worse than the horror back and neck injury suffered in October 2020 - but he came from that and thankfully now, he bows out on his own terms.

A 'delighted' Russell gave an interview to Racing TV's Donn McClean after his announcement.

"I'm thinking about it since they opened me up in Dublin a couple of years ago but I was always happy to ride," he began.

"The last couple of years have been so enjoyable. I got a couple of falls and was sore but no sorer than I was before. I could have kept going, but I just felt this was the time.


"That's why I did it now. There was no point in having everyone wondering why is he not retired, I'd rather have them wondering why is he retiring? The one thing I do love is that I never lost my bottle, and that was the most important thing.

"I spoke to Gordon and I told him the next one will be the last one. I'm actually delighted, I'm not sad. I'm delighted that that's it now, and happy to have done it the way we've done it."


Russell also released a statement, thanking all those who have helped him before signing off by saying he 'never worked a day in his life.' Read the full statement below.

"After over 20 years riding as a professional jockey, I’ve decided to call it a day.

My journey began 43 years ago with the support of my parents who gave me the most outstanding of childhoods – never restricting me and giving me the freedom to begin a journey. My mother is no longer here but she has always had my back - I still feel her watching over me today. As for my dad, I’m lucky to still have him in my life and he’s always been there for me too along with my brothers and sisters.

I started in point-to-points where I rode for four years managing to become champion novice rider back in 1999. The last two decades have flown by and I’ve just so many to thank. If it wasn’t for Tom O’Mahony, I’d have never made the jump to become a professional. Then there’s the likes of Pat O’Connor, Arthur Moore, Pat and Mary Doyle, John Kiely, Mick O’Brien and Charles Byrnes to name just a few.


Plenty have had my back during the tougher times. Robert Tyner and Philip Reynolds thank you for being there when I needed it the most. Colman Walsh, my brother-in-law, has been a huge part of my life while I must also mention Peter Vaughan and Philip Fenton. Dr Lambe for some special festival days and ‘Frosty’ Kelly and Kevin O’Ryan for booking all those winners. In more recent years, Kenny Haughey has been a huge supporter of mine too.

There must also be a special mention for Gigginstown – Michael, Anita, Eddie and Wendy. You gave me the opportunity and trusted in me, taking me to places and to days I could only ever have dreamed about. You took me to the next level. You let me ride a remarkable little warrior called Tiger Roll. The horse of my lifetime.

As for Gordon Elliott, well, what can I say. We rode together as amateurs, and I’ve been lucky enough to watch you become the trainer you are today. For the last few years, you have made me part of your team and have always done everything to help me asking for nothing in return.

The truth is there are just so many people to thank and you know who you are. To all the stable staff around the land that do all the hard work, to my weighing room colleagues, both professional and amateur, past and present. I salute you all. To the physios, doctors and surgeons, thank you for patching me up. To my sponsors Citipost, Star Sports and the Irish Daily Star, thank you for believing in me.


Finally, to my wife Edelle and my kids Jaimee, Lily, Finn, Liam and Tess. You are the reason I can hang up my riding boots today. You have taught me what it is to live, and I cannot wait to spend more time with you all at home in Youghal. Of course, I’m sad to be giving up something I’ve been lucky enough to have called a job for so long, but the truth is I’ve never actually worked a day in my life."

D N Russell, thank you.