Introducing Tiernan Power Roche
Wessex Point to Point racing is due to resume on Sunday 11th April at Cothelstone near Taunton following the shutdown of all point to point racing in the United Kingdom since December due to the pandemic and there will be much anticipation when the meeting takes place. Sadly the meeting at Cothelstone will be held behind closed doors and owners will not be able to attend but there is a large horse population awaiting the resumption of point to point racing and riders who have been waiting since Larkhill in December have had to be patient before participating in a sport they love.
There will be a new name for point to point followers to look out for following the arrival of Tiernan Power Roche from his native Ireland. The opportunity has been taken to catch up with Tiernan and Christopher Barber where he is based alongside the horses he has accompanied over from Ireland and to find out how the arrangement has come about.
When point to point racing was put on hold in January Christopher made contact with Harley Dunne in Ireland to see if there was any opportunity to send 4 or 5 horses from his Littlewindsor near Beaminster base to be trained and run in Irish point to points. Although that did not happen when Irish point to point racing was put on hold with no planned start date Harley made contact with Christopher to see if there was a reverse opportunity to send a team of unraced young horses to him to run in UK point to points and in order to assist him Tiernan would accompany the horses and do the work with them and ride them in the races.
Tiernan takes up the story by advising that he was asked by Harley if he would like to take on this role in order to broaden his experience and after ‘humming and hawing’ for a few days decided that he would come to England and link up with Christopher who he had never met until he arrived.
Tiernan at 23 the same age as Christopher hails from Wexford in South East Ireland and has been race riding since the age of 17. Although there are no racing connections in his background he had been riding ponies and hunting since an early age and from about 12 he had been riding out in school holidays and weekends for Benny Walsh. His first ride was on a mare called Hi Lucy Lou in 2015 and had a couple of rides on her completing the course on the second of these.
His first winner came on another mare a year later called Cidersall who had been in training with Paul Kiely and had run two races with little promise. Acquired by Tiernan and his brother Ryan for a modest sum his brother decided after a short period to get out of his share which was then taken over by Tiernan’s mother. When the mare won on her next appearance at KInsale Ryan was not best pleased!
Tiernan’s career took off after joining the stable of William Codd, the brother of leading rider Jamie Codd and was keen to say how much he has learned from Jamie as well as other leading riders Derek O’Connor and Barry O’Neill who have been supportive and encouraging in his race riding.
To date he has achieved 22 point to point victories in Ireland and 2 under rules. When asked about the best horses he has ridden in work he immediately mentioned Carlingford Lough and Lostintranslation when he was being broken in. He had begun riding a couple of days a week for Harley Dunne this season and is now looking forward to his new adventure in England starting with a ride a Charing on Gemini Fire and a ride at Maisemore on Flaming Ambition.
When asked about any longer term ambitions he has no particular plans and wants to see how this venture turns out and take each day as it comes. He has no weight issues so he hopes that he might be in demand for the young horses carrying lesser weights.
It will be interesting to see how he adapts to English point to pointing and how he copes with the vagaries of our courses.