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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Challoner latest jockey to announce retirement

Harry Challoner: calling time on career at Uttoxeter
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Harry Challoner will hang up his saddle after two rides at Uttoxeter on Saturday with the jump jockey deciding to call time on his career for a variety of reasons.

Challoner, 27, rode out his claim last year, but found the job to not be financially viable, and said: "I kind of decided last summer. I had a good season with 18 winners but I weighed the job up and I really hadn't made much money. It isn't that profitable at that level as a jump jockey. Circumstances are changing at home with my dad needing more help on the farm so it was a combination of things."

Although sad to be leaving the weighing room behind, Challoner still has plenty of good memories from his career, among them riding Truckers Highway, who he partners again in the 2m4f handicap hurdle (6.35).

"I've won on Trucker's five times and that owner and trainer combination, [John Groucott and Clive Tipton] I've been very successful with," Challoner added.

"Truckers has taken over from Pret A Thou, who I won eight on and I rode him from when he came over from France at five to a 13-year-old. Truckers has definitely got a chance."

Challoner was keen to express his thanks for those who have supported him during his career, and said: "I started with Richard Ford when I was 13 so I'd like to say a big thank-you to him and I also thoroughly enjoyed my time with Venetia Williams.

"I was able to go to the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree and the Scottish Grand National, and I'm grateful for the opportunities but it's time for the next chapter."

Uttoxeter card

Greener pastures... three more who had enough

Sophie Killoran

Just one day before Challoner's decision, apprentice rider Killoran, 23, announced she'd be quitting the sport.

She said: "I'm 23 and I don't want to wait until I'm 30 before I realise I don't want to do it any more. I want to move on before I'm soured by the game."

"I wasn't getting the rides I thought I might get after last season – we're talking about horses I've won on four times – and I was having to ask myself why people didn't want to use me."

Natalie Hambling

Another apprentice, Hambling, 22, quit British racing, but not the sport, last month when she revealed she'd be moving permanently to Australia.

"There are a lack of opportunities in England," she explained. "It's very hard for apprentices and I'm afraid to say even worse for girls.

"It's hard to break even in England, especially as an apprentice without a full riding fee. The racing industry is thriving here [in Australia] - and you wouldn't be racing round Wolverhampton in -3C for a £3,000 race!"

Jake Greenall

Greenall, 25, bowed out at the end of the jumps season after concluding his future lay away from the sport.

"When I set out I wanted to be in the top ten riders and I've thrown everything at it," said Greenall. "But when you take stock and realise you're not getting there, I want to go and make a mark on what I'm going to do next.

"I've had an amazing time and a huge amount of support, but riding 20 to 30 winners a season is not for me and I want to move on to the next thing now instead of in five years when I'm 30."

I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and still do, but it's not viable
E.W. Terms
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