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Gold Cup-Winning Kerry Jockey Bryan Cooper Calls Time On Career At 30

18 March 2016; Bryan Cooper is given a high-five from a racegoer as he is led into the winners' enclosure after winning the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Don Cossack. Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
By PJ Browne Updated
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Kerry native Bryan Cooper has announced his retirement from the saddle aged just 30.

Cooper's biggest victory came in 2016 when he rode Don Cossack to glory for Gordon Elliott in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Cooper did not ride at this year's Cheltenham festival. His last time in the saddle was earlier this month at Naas, and his last victory was on Wa Wa at Leopardstown on March 6th.

Bryan Cooper retirement statement

"After much careful thought and consideration for some time, I am officially announcing my retirement from race riding with immediate effect," Cooper said in a statement posted on social media.

"I've been lucky to have had a wonderful career over the past 14 years as a jockey. To my family, the owners, trainers and stable staff who have supported me throughout my whole career, I can't thank you enough for some incredible days.


"It is time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me."

14 March 2017; Bryan Cooper celebrates crossing the line to win the OLBG Mares' Hurdle on Apple's Jade ahead of Limini, with Ruby Walsh up, who finished third, during the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park, in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Just last week, Michael O'Leary called Cooper a "great jockey".

"Had a lot of success at a very young age. I'm not sure if he handled it very well," said O'Leary.


"He needed to work harder, but he's learnt that lesson.

"The great thing in the last year or two is that Bryan's come back riding better than ever, working harder than ever before, and that's why he's back riding Gigginstown horses, and he's riding horses for Willie, Noel Meade and everybody else."

See Also: Playing For Ireland Still 'Big Ambition' For Liverpool-Born Midfielder

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