Katie Walsh

Being a daughter of the well known amateur jump jockey, trainer and television pundit, Ted Walsh, as well as being a sister to top class jump jockey, Ruby Walsh, Katie Walsh was only going to ever be involved in one sport. Since beginning her own riding career in 2003, Katie has established herself as one of the best amateur jockeys in the country. Indeed, she showed that she can compete with the very best when completing a notable double at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010.

Principal Trainers: Willie Mullins, Ted Walsh

Katie WalshNotable Wins:

  • www.thetote.com Hurdle Handicap (Dorset Square 2010)
  • Ernst & Young Handicap Chase (Battlefront 2010)
  • Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Thousand Stars 2010)
  • National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Poker De Sivola 2010)
  • Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle (Thousand Stars 2009)
  • Ladies Perpetual Cup (Wedger Pardy 2009)
  • Gigginstown House Stud Point-to-Point Flat Race (Tofino Bay 2009)
  • Risk Of Thunder Chase (Never Compromise 2007 + 2006)
  • Goffs Land Rover Bumper (Glencove Marina 2006)
  • Thalgo Ladies Derby Handicap (Cloneden 2005)

Notable Wins: www.thetote.com Hurdle Handicap (Dorset Square 2010), Ernst & Young Handicap Chase (Battlefront 2010), Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Thousand Stars 2010), National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Poker De Sivola 2010), Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle (Thousand Stars 2009), Ladies Perpetual Cup (Wedger Pardy 2009), Gigginstown House Stud Point-to-Point Flat Race (Tofino Bay 2009), Risk Of Thunder Chase (Never Compromise 2007 + 2006), Goffs Land Rover Bumper (Glencove Marina 2006), Thalgo Ladies Derby Handicap (Cloneden 2005) 

Being a daughter of the well known amateur jump jockey, trainer and television pundit, Ted Walsh, as well as being a sister to top class jump jockey, Ruby Walsh, Katie Walsh was only going to ever be involved in one sport. Since beginning her own riding career in 2003, Katie has established herself as one of the best amateur jockeys in the country. Indeed, she showed that she can compete with the very best when completing a notable double at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010.

The Mullins Connection

Katie rode her first winner on her father’s Hannon in a Flat handicap at Gowran Park in October 2003 and not long after that she became attached to the Willie Mullins. Being attached to a yard that routinely dominates the bumper scene is a significant positive for any amateur rider and Katie enjoyed plenty of success in such contests for Mullins. While she didn’t have much opportunity to forge long associations with her mounts, she did win three times on Crenaun Bridge and twice on the likes of Drumderry, Avoca Mist and Cobham. She also won twice on Glencove Marina which included the valuable Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival in April 2006. While the emergence of Willie’s son Patrick in the 2007/8 season saw Katie’s opportunities for Mullins decrease significantly, she had gained an abundance of experience and was ready to make a wider impact.

Flat Success

In addition to riding under National Hunt rules, Katie is also well sought after for the top lady rider events on the Flat on both sides of the Irish Sea. Her biggest win on the Flat thus far came on the Mick Halford-trained Cloneden in the Thalgo Ladies Derby Handicap at the Curragh in 2005. She completed a notable double on her father’s Collingwood when winning on the gelding on the beach at Laytown in both 2006 and 2007.

Consolidating A Reputation

After her opportunities for Willie Mullins significantly decreased in 2007/8, Katie found things more difficult. She continued her successful association with her father’s Never Compromise, gaining her second consecutive win in the Risk Of Thunder Chase over the famous banks course at Punchestown in November 2007. 

She had to wait quite a while before returning to the big race winner’s enclosure, eventually getting the job done on the Dessie Hughes-trained Tofino Bay in the valuable Gigginstown House Stud Point-to-Point Flat Race at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival in April 2009. Just a short few weeks later, she gained further success over the unique banks course at Punchestown when riding her father’s Wedger Pardy to win the Ladies Perpetual Cup. 

A Season To Remember

After enduring two difficult seasons after losing her lucrative position with Willie Mullins, Katie bounced right back to top form in 2009/10. She had her best-ever season in terms of big-race winners, with the Willie Mullins-trained Thousand Stars getting the ball rolling by winning the Bar One Racing Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse in November. However, it was in the spring that Katie’s season really took off. Having travelled to the Cheltenham Festival being unsure that she would even get a single ride, she picked up the mount on the Ferdy Murphy-trained Poker De Sivola in the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup. She gave him the ride of her life, getting the better of her great friend Nina Carberry on Becauseicouldntsee in a tremendous finish. It was a remarkable success for Katie, but better still was to come that week. Riding Thousand Stars in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, Katie showed the professionals how to do it by steering him to a cosy three lengths success, completing a remarkable double at the Mecca of National Hunt racing. As if that wasn’t enough, Katie went on to have a highly-successful Punchestown Festival, winning the Ernst & Young Handicap Chase on her father’s Battlefront and the valuable www.thetote.com Hurdle Handicap on the Willie Mullins-trained Dorset Square. It was a truly remarkable finish to the season for Katie and it saw her reach an all-new level in terms of international profile.

Another Profitable Campaign

2009/10 was always going to be a hard act to follow for Katie in 2010/11, but she is making a bold bid to match it. In terms of number of winners, she has every chance of registering a career-best tally and while she has yet to strike in a big race, her association with Thousand Stars almost yielded an amazing success in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting, coming up just a neck short of Oscar Whiskey in a thrilling finish.

Where she registers a career-best tally of winners or not, the stock of Katie Walsh continues to rise and she is sure to have a long and lucrative career ahead of her.

Updated April 2011.