Emotional scenes as Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh bow out together
Two of the best female jockeys horse racing has ever had have hung up their whips this week.
On Friday afternoon, Katie Walsh called time on her riding career after she steered Antey to glory in a Novice Hurdle on the penultimate day of the Kildare festival.
"I wanted to go out on a winner," she said in the immediate aftermath of her triumph.
Fast forward less than 24 hours and the weigh room would be saying goodbye to another of its great females. After piloting Josie's Orders to victory in the opening race of Punchestown 2018's final day, the Meath woman announced that it would be her final time in the winners enclosure.
Indeed, this would be the final National Hunt race the 33-year-old would ride in.
Carberry, five months Walsh's senior will be sorely missed by all National Hunt racing fans. She's enjoyed a stellar career that has saw her ride 99 career winners.
Punters could always rely on Nina in the bumper races in particular with her judgement and skill regularly driving horses to victory that mightn't have even been the best horse in the race. It was rare enough to see Nina Carberry come out on the wrong end of a tight finish.
It was a fitting way for her to bow out from the game, riding a winner for trainer Enda Bolger in the JP McManus colours and over the banks at Punchestown that she has enjoyed so much success down through the years.
Horse racing will be at a loss minus these two great women, who's careers have so many parallels, and they friends, colleagues and sisters-in-law were united in the RTÉ studios in emotional scenes just after Carberry's announcement.
"We'll miss it to bits...It's a career that I'd never swap for anything," said Carberry.
Ted Walsh, Katie's father and Nina's father in law joined the pair soon after and the emotion in voice was clear for all to hear.
— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) April 28, 2018
The tributes poured in for the popular jock immediately.
Noel Meade, who Nina and her brother Paul enjoyed so much success under through the years led the praise.
Noel Meade has teamed up with @ninacarberry for plenty of winners down the years. "She's been marvellous, an absolutely fabulous person," says the trainer. "I'm thrilled she's out in one piece. She's a pleasure to have anything to do with." @tuvastables pic.twitter.com/0c4WwHWRK2
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) April 28, 2018