Name: Sioned Whittle
From: West Wales
Welsh native Sioned Whittle who has two track winners to her name registered her first Irish point-to-point win on Sunday at Turtulla when guiding Garm Colombe to victory in the winners of one contest.
Whittle who is now working full-time with the winning handler Aidan Fitzgerald, only started in the Carlow yard a little over a week ago.
The 24-year-old is looking forward to a successful season ahead with Cobajay Stables.
How did you get started with horses?
My Mum and Dad have always been involved in horses mainly hunting, so I would have grown up around them.
When I was younger I was involved with the pony club, I also did plenty of hunting and then progressed into pony racing and from there I got my UK licence.
Was it always the plan to take out your licence?
It was really during and after my stint pony racing that I decided it was something that I would like to do.
I had 51 rides in UK point-to-points.
What made you come to Ireland?
Just a change of scenery really! To be honest it was the ladies who work on the horses backs here mentioned that I should go and try ride out in Ireland.
I got in touch with the Irish Racing Jobs page and they put me in touch with Aidan ‘Scobie’ Fitzgerald.
I only actually started with him a week ago, so it has all been a little surreal.
Are you going to be working with Aidan Fitzgerald full-time?
The plan is to be working in Scobie’s full-time, I am actually just back in Wales at moment sorting out a few things and picking up the rest of my belongings.
Are you enjoying the change of scenery in Ireland, is there much of change to the yards you have worked in before?
Yes, it’s quite different to what I have been used to, the way things are done in Ireland is a bit different.
The way the horses are worked is quite different and the schooling is a lot faster here, if we went that fast in the UK we would be told off!
It’s quite a small and friendly team in Scobie’s and it’s a lovely place to be working in.
Did you know Garm Colombe well, had you been riding him out prior to Sunday?
I rode him on my first day, then I schooled him on the Wednesday and then I rode him again the day before he ran.
When did you find out you were riding him at Turtulla?
I actually only found out the Thursday, so it all happened quite quickly!
Was Scobie expecting a big run from him?
To be honest he told me that he thought he would need the run, so just let bowl along and enjoy the spin around.
He said if you have enough left turning in, just give him a squeeze but he kind of ran away with me with a circuit to go, so I didn’t really have much choice.
Had you been to an Irish point-to-point before, what did you think of the track at Turtulla?
It was actually my first time in Ireland altogether, the track seemed a bit smaller to the point-to-point tracks at home.
Did you find it much of a difference to riding in an Irish point-to-point to a UK point-to-point?
I suppose the main difference is that you don’t get racing as early as they do in the UK.
Who would have been your biggest influence in racing?
Jodie Hughes would have been somebody who I looked up to, she was the lady champion in Wales. She is retired now but she was always great for giving you advice and helping you out.
Maxine O’Sullivan over here has also been so nice and helpful, she did up my hat silk for me on Sunday which was very nice.
What are your ambitions for remainder of the season?
Hopefully ride a few more winners and maybe even get trusted to ride some of the four-year-olds would be nice.
Do you have any other interests outside of racing?
Hunting, rugby and farming I suppose would be my main interests outside of racing. %u200B