Q & A with Bryan Carver
Introduction – Where did you grow up and when did you first sit on a pony?
I grew up 2km outside of a small town called Kanturk in County Cork. I didn't start riding until I was 15 and got hooked instantly to the game when my cousin took me to a local trainer’s yard called Michael Winters where I started out learning to trot up the road on a pointing mare called Theatre Princess and slowly progressed using every day I had off from school trying to progress my skills! Safe to say my mom struggled to get me out of bed from Monday to Friday but Saturdays and Sundays were a bit different but I owe her a huge amount considering her days off from work I was annoying her to get out of bed early and drive me to the yard!
Q When did you first start riding thoroughbreds and what / when and where was your first ride?
A My first ride came in November of 2015 at Dromahane P2P course on a horse called Armhuin Na Muice that I owned and trained along with a friend of mine. His name didn't do him much justice translating to "on the pigs back". Unfortunately we didn't have much success with him as when I look back now I think there was and still is an awful lot I wouldn't know about training!
Q What was your first winner point-to-pointing and what do you remember about the ride?
A Chosen Lucky at Bratton Down on the 21st of May 2017; I was "lucky" to pick up the ride on the morning of the race with the help of Gerry Supple for Dean Summersby as it was a last minute decision to run him there in the novice riders race. I just held on by a head in tight finish with Skylander.
Q How many winners in total have you ridden in point-to-points?
A 17 as at 9th December 2018
Q You have worked for some well- known trainers – who has been the greatest influence on you?
A Both Will Biddick and Michael Winters would be two of the most influential people I have worked for!
Q Are there any riders that you seek to model yourself on and why?
A Davy Russell. Watching Davy is very easy on the eye no matter what race he is riding in or no matter what horse he is riding, horses seem to jump great for him and he's always in the right place in a race!
Q What is the best horse you have ridden and why?
A Very tough question as I have sat on some very nice horses racing but I would have to say Silver Roque ( for trainer Mary Vestey) who I rode at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase meeting as he gave me a great thrill finishing 3rd in the 2mile 4 race.
Q You are currently working for Paul Nicholls as an amateur rider. Do you have any rides to look forward for him?
A At the minute there aren't many amateur races under rules but I'm concentrating on keeping my head down and working as hard as I can to get as many pointing winners this season that's possible and hopefully I will pick up a few opportunities to ride for the boss along the way.
Q How many lots do you ride out for him on a daily basis and how much schooling do you do?
A I ride out 3 lots at Paul's in the morning and then head off to Rose Loxton’s at lunch to ride out 1 there! Thankfully I get to school quite regularly at Paul's and always try to school for pointing contacts over the weekend!
Q Who are you hoping to ride for this coming point to point season?
A Hoping to ride for most of the trainers I rode for last season such as Les Jefford, Teresa Clark and Stuart Sampson but also hoping to ride for some new trainers including Sally Alner, Rose Loxton, John Heard and many more!
Q Are you available for schooling if any trainers are seeking an experienced rider who could ride in races during the 2018 point-to-point season?
A Always happy to find time to school for people!
Q What interests do you have outside horses and racing?
A I enjoy playing golf but normally during the summer when the weather's a bit nicer! Also follow GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) from back home when I can but I do miss playing GAA!
Q What is your favourite point-to-point course and why?
A Bratton Down. I've had a lot of luck there including my first ever winner! From 4 visits to the course I've had 5 winners there!
Q What would be your ultimate riding ambition?
A I don't really have a set ambition but I would love to ride out my claim, ride a Cheltenham festival winner and just take my career as far as I possibly can!