Name: James Cousins
From: Kilmore, Co. Wexford
It was a memorable day for Wexford native James Cousins who partnered his initial career win aboard the Rob James trained Chief Lady at Inchydoney on the final day of the season.
How did you get involved with horses?
There would have always been ponies and racehorses on the farm growing up, my dad Jim Cousins used to train a few for the track but he doesn’t anymore we just have a few breakers and that and we then send them then to Rob James.
How did the connection with Rob come about?
My sister Emma actually goes out with Rob and that is how we would have got to know him.
Where are you working at present?
I started out with Michael Murphy then worked for Harley Dunne full-time and whenever I get any spare time I go over to Rob’s and give him a hand with a bit of schooling or that.
I see Harley had to move his horses on account of the rapeseed, how was that training from the field?
Look it was difficult, but sure what could you do under those circumstances, it just had to be done, simple as!
Harley is great to work for, he’s sound and he has been very good to me.
Was it always the plan for you to take out your riders licence?
It was really, it was something that I’ve always wanted to do. I just didn’t know if I was ever going to get the chance but thankfully it worked out.
When did you find out you were riding Chief Lady?
It was kind of touch of go as to whether I was riding her or not, I only found out the evening before as Rob was in Doncaster and he and my Dad wanted to run her on the Sunday so I knew then I was riding her.
My mother actually bred the mare.
Did you fancy her to run a big race?
She had pulled up on her previous run so we actually weren’t expecting much. We were more running her to give me more experience than anything.
We had said if she ran into a place that would be great, we never actually thought she would win, she really surprised us.
When did your saddle slip?
My saddle slipped just coming to the last, probably only for the mare being so good and so straight she brought me the line I couldn’t do much on her just hands and heels.
She probably would have won by even further had the saddle not slipped.
Did any of your family make the trip down?
My mother and father came on the day, my father actually drove the mare and led me up! My three sisters weren’t there they were at home.
You must have been thrilled to get your first winner on the board?
I couldn’t believe it really! And to do it on my mothers mare made it all the more special and to have my father leading me up. It was just brilliant.
It was definitely worth the four hour trip!
What is the plan now for Chief Lady?
I’d imagine we will try and sell her and if not we will keep her, we are not too worried what happens.
Have you any plans for the summer?
I will probably be spending the rest of the summer at Harleys I’d imagine, breaking and all that crack up there.
What are your ambitions for next season?
Try and get on as many horses as I can really, keeping going and try get as many rides as I can that is my main aim really.
Who is your biggest influence in racing?
Probably my Dad, growing up seeing what he did, I was always wanted to do it. He has really helped me along the way in fairness, I owe a lot to him.
I love listening to all the stories of when he was training and it was nice to bring back some racing to the family.
In fairness Harley, Rob and Michael Murphy have all been very good to me I’ve been very fortunate.
Have you any interests outside of racing?
I love hurling and football and sometimes play with my local club Kilmore.
I also if I’m not busy on the weekends I love going farming and cutting silage. I do plenty of farming for my Dad and if not he’s busy I’ll pick up a bit of contract work in the local area.
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Name: James Cousins