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Disillusioned Killoran to turn her back on racing

Sophie Killoran: plans to leave racing
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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.

David Simcock: has a great team

"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."

We're talking about horses I've won four times on, and I was having to ask myself why they didn't want to use me