Paul Carberry followed his father’s footsteps when he won the Grand National. His father, Tommy, had raced to victory in 1975 on L’Escargot when Paul was a mere fourteen months old.
Paul repeated that famous feat on Bobbyjo in 1999. In doing so, he became the first son of a Grand National winner to emulate his father in the greatest of the steeplechase races.
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The family only missed out on an amazing trifecta – Paul’s grandfather (on his mother’s side) missed out on winning the Grand National by a short head when riding Royal Danieli in 1938.
Carberry’s first introduction to the Aintree racecourse was when he was still a schoolboy of 16. He rode Joseph Knibb in the Fox Hunters Chase, where he had a horrific fall at the seventh fence. The fall was so severe that the decision was made to abstain from racing at Aintree for several years.
At the age of 18, he joined the stable of Noel Meade. Noel is one of the most successful Irish trainers ever, and Carberry won on his first ride at Cheltenham.
In 1994, at the tender age of 20, Carberry rode in the Grand National but was unseated at the 27th fence from Rust Never Sleeps. But two years later scored his first Aintree victory in the John Hughes Memorial Chase on Joe White. In 1997 he reached fourth place in the National on Buckboard Bounce.
With a bit of a reputation as a reveller, J.P. McManus once bet him £50,000 that he couldn’t stop drinking for a year. He won the bet but refused the double sum and offered to do it for another year! His ability to paint the town red (his nickname was ‘Alice’ after his favourite party piece ‘Living next door to Alice’) never took from his ability in the saddle.
Paul Carberry Wins The Grand National
Having won the 1998 Irish Grand National on Bobbyjo, a horse trained by his father, Carberry was determined that they could pull off the same act for the 1999 Aintree Grand National. He had a once-in-a-lifetime early night, and it paid off when he won the race from Blue Charm by ten lengths.
He desperately wanted to do the same thing the following year, but a twenty-pound weight increase on Bobbyjo meant they finished eleventh. Unfortunately, a year later, an injury with fatal consequences left Bobbyjo unable to enter the National at the last minute, leaving Carberry without a ride in the National.
At the Cheltenham Festival the following year, he won the National Hunt Handicap Chase on Frenchman’s Creek, but a hand injury left him unable to enter the Gold Cup on Marlborough.
Paul Carberry Career Highlights
Paul Carberry’s racing career so far has included an impressive string of major wins. They include the 2006 Thyestes Chase on Dun Doire and the 2006 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup on Beef Or Salmon. He also took two wins at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival – the Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle on Nicanor, and the Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Hairy Molly.
In 2007, Carberry was victorious in the National Lottery Agent Champion Chase at Gowran Park, the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan, and the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. Other Grade One wins include the Barry & Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle at Navan, the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown, and the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.
At the 2009 Cheltenham Festival, Carberry once again found himself a winner, riding Go Native all the way to first place in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
His success at Cheltenham began with a win in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase on Bellvano in 2012. He then took the World Hurdle the following year on Solwhit. But his final win at Cheltenham was in the Spa’ Novices Hurdle on Very Wood in 2014.
Never shy of big races, Paul Carberry was back in the winning enclosure at the Welsh National at Chepstow in 2013. Carberry was a late choice to ride the horse Monbeg Dude and was running at 10/1 odds on the day.
But he went out and rode the perfect race, sitting right at the back of the race. He moved up the field to meet AP McCoy at the last hurdle. In an epic battle to the line, Paul Carberry beat the favourite Teaforthree ridden by McCoy by half a length. It’s fair to say that Carberry displayed all of his genius in this race, and it has been listed in the top five jump races on numerous occasions.
After a spectacular career, Paul Carberry sadly announced his retirement in 2016. This was due to a long struggle with a leg injury that he picked up in 2015.
Paul Carberry Racewear
On top of all this racing success, Paul Carberry is quite a talented clothing designer. Apparently, the idea came about when Joules Lamb observed the vast amounts of jackets needed to do the job. When Joules asked Paul if one jacket could be designed that could do the job of the lot, his response was yes.
So the PC Jacket was the start of a new direction. This followed with them expanding into more and more items, ultimately becoming PC Racewear and racing equipment.
It’s fair to say that PC Racewear is incredibly popular, so it turns out that the little spark of an idea has turned out perfect for Paul Carberry.
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