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Liam Gilligan turns amateur

Liam Gilligan has recently turned amateur following a number of seasons as a conditional where he rode 16 winners. 

Gilligan hails from a racing family, he is a son of trainer Paul Gilligan.

"I have the licence switched over in the last couple of days."
"I went straight conditional when I turned 16."
A successful graduate of the pony racing circuit, Liam has ridden winners for his father Paul along with a number of other trainers, as well as riding a winner for champion trainer, Willie Mullins aboard Eight And Bob in January 2019 at Fairyhouse.
"I was riding out in Willie's. I rode at the last two Cheltenham festivals for Willie as well."
The main reason influencing Liam to becoming an amateur was due to a struggle with his weight along with the lack of opportunities arising.
In the 2017/2018 season, Liam started his first season with five winners.
Gilligan doubled that excellent starting tally in the 2018/2019 season, where he rode an impressive ten winners, including the aforementioned Eight And Bob for Willie Mullins.
The young Galway native has found it difficult this season to find winners, with just one winner since the beginning of the new season.
"To be honest, I was starting to struggle with my weight, and the opportunities were drying up in between the rails."
"The only person that I was riding for was my father really, and I was starting to struggle."
"Just within the last six-months it's been quiet. I haven't got a winner since the middle of the summer."
Liam is also associated with Co. Carlow trainer, Shark Hanlon, where he rides out on a regular basis.
Gilligan is looking forward to riding in point-to-points for the remainder of the season ahead.
"I've been involved with a few point-to-point yards. I have been with Shark Hanlon a bit, and my father also has a few point-to-pointers for the season, so it was a no-brainer to give it a go!"
The Galway native is now based near Paulstown in Co. Kilkenny, which is within close proximity to the Willie Mullins and Shark Hanlon yards.

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