Disillusioned Killoran to turn her back on racing
Sophie Killoran, the 23-year-old apprentice to David Simcock, has decided to quit the saddle.
Killoran, who rode 20 winners under rules, said on Thursday: "I've been thinking about it for a few weeks since I came back from America, I was thinking I'd see how it goes as I had a good year last year but things weren't really picking up.
"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."
News of Killoran's decision follows hot on the heels of a report on the under-representation of women in the sport, which was unveiled on Wednesday.
Killoran said she had not read the report but added: "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.
"I'll miss quite a lot – it's hard to pick one thing. I'll miss the mornings riding out at David Simcock's – they were a great team and we had a lot of fun.
"Losing my 5lb claim was a big milestone and racing has been great for me as it has taken me to so many different places like Barbados and America, and I did Arab racing in Poland."
When asked if she was leaving racing for good, Killoran replied: "I think so. I love horses and racing and I'll still follow it, but it was more like a hobby for me and, career-wise, I want to be able to progress, and I was unable to do that.
"I'm going to head home to Berkshire and I have a few options. There was potentially a job for me at a media company, or the possibility of going into a job in property, so I'm going to look into that."
She added: "I'm riding Camakasi at Newbury on Friday, but I also might ride Himalayan Queen on Wednesday, and she might run again on the 29th, so I'm not 100 per cent sure when my last ride will be yet."