Two-time Champion Jockey Bids Farewell to his Race Riding Career
In an emotional statement, Paul Hanagan, former BRS graduate (course 99) and two-time Champion Jockey with an illustrious career spanning over two decades, has declared his retirement from professional racing.
Paul Hanagan, known for his down to earth manner, his riding style and his lucrative partnership with northern powerhouse trainer, Richard Fahey, decided to hang up his boots after an impressive career that saw him rise to the top of the British flat racing scene. Hanagan’s retirement marks the end of an era, as he was a two-time Champion Jockey in 2010 and 2011, a feat achieved by only a select few, and dominated more recently by southern-based riders.
Born in Warrington, came from a relatively un-horsey background to work through the ranks of British horseracing, finding his stride as an apprentice when his talent quickly became evident. Over the years, Hanagan forged a reputation as a tenacious, tactical rider with an uncanny ability to read races.
Announcing his impending retirement, set to start after his final ride in the first race at York on Friday (25th August), Hanagan was obviously emotional as he spoke to reporters at the track.
“As you can imagine it’s quite emotional. It’s difficult, I think any professional sportsperson will tell you, especially doing it as long as I’ve been doing it for.
“There’s a few things involved in making my decision, I had a pretty bad fall about two years ago and I’ve never quite been the same after it, I fractured my back in three places.
“It’s not so much painful riding, but it’s getting to the level of fitness you need to be at to be a professional jockey and I don’t think I was getting to that standard.”
Paul’s career at BRS began with his Apprentice Licence course in 1998. His first winner was in 1999 and he sealed the apprentice title in 2002. His first Champion Jockey title came in 2010 and he followed up quickly with a successive title in 2011.
Hanagan’s career highlights include victories in prestigious races such as The Oaks and numerous Group winners. His relationship with renowned trainers and owners endeared him to racing fans around the world along with his down to earth and hardworking image.
Now aged 42, Hanagan has plans to remain in the sport and has announced his first position as Director of Racing for The Good Racing Company, an innovative “good causes” racing club, with profits being donated back to charities within the industry.
On behalf of everyone at The British Racing School, we wish Paul a very happy and healthy retirement and thank him for his dedication to the sport we all love, and for the example he has set for young people wanting to join the industry.