After six years, many winners, some tough setbacks and loads of determination, Eran Boyd will begin her senior riding career at Oakbank on Wednesday.
Boyd began her apprenticeship back in 2012 after originally getting the riding bug as a kid when she would re-home and re-educate ‘Off the Track’ thoroughbreds as her hobby at home. Through this ‘Off the Track’ connection, Boyd met quite a few trainers, started going to the races and she was hooked. At age 16, she left school and contacted TRSA’s Apprentice Academy and the rest is history!
It didn’t take her long to find the winners stall, claiming her maiden victory on Quorn Cup Day in 2012. She partnered the Ryan McGorman trained Alisimto to a 2.4 length victory in the first race of the day. Always eager to learn and improve she would pick the brains of the best jockeys in the state.
“I was very lucky to have great support from many senior jockeys throughout my time as an apprentice. Clare Lindop and Dominic Tourneur were and are still great mentors to me along with other riders like Libby Hopwood, Jamie Kah, Todd Pannell, Matthew Neilson and Shayne Cahill.”
Boyd has always been a talented rider but it hasn’t been an easy six years for the popular jockey.
“The hardest thing for me has been the setbacks from injury and sitting on the sidelines. Having a stop-start apprenticeship was very difficult.”
Major injuries including a broken leg, concussion and a broken collarbone kept Boyd out of the saddle for long periods but it’s a credit to her strength and determination in how she bounced back from these injuries.
“Both breaks required surgery to insert metal rods and plates and after the collarbone I had to sit out further time in 2017 to have it all removed.”
“The hardest part about being injured is having to sit on the sidelines and watch the horses you’ve been riding win. The worst thing is to dwell on it which is something I luckily learnt early not to do.”
“Through each comeback I’ve made sure that I work on improving something with my riding, whether that was my strength or using the whip in the other hand.”
While life can be tough at times for a jockey, there are also plenty of highs. Boyd has notched up over 145 winners throughout her career and says that her win on stable favourite ‘Waging War’ goes down as her best moment so far. Anyone who had a piece of the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained gelding at $50-1 earlier this year probably would agree with her too!
“I am very fortunate to have some very close friends within the industry who have always stuck by my side through the ups and downs.”
“The biggest supporters have been my parents Jenny & Michael, along with my younger sister Katie. As far as riding goes Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas have been great to me as well as John Macmillan & Kristi Evans. My manager Andrew Northridge has also been a great support.”
Now that she’s graduated to the big time, Boyd is more excited than ever to forge a successful career in the saddle and to help repay the faith to those who supported her throughout her apprenticeship.
”I’m looking forward to reconnecting with previous supporters from tracks such as Strathalbyn and Murray Bridge. My goals are to build back up my rides by having the freedom to travel to these places, to ride track work and to have success for those who have supported me.”
The extra freedom of being a senior jockey also means she’ll have a bit more spare time, which Boyd is looking forward to spending on a cause she is very passionate about.
“I’m really looking forward to having more time to support Craniofacial Australia which is a terrific charity I am fortunate enough to be an ambassador for. I’m excited to be in a position where I can help raise funds and awareness for them.”