Q: How did you get interested in racing?
A: I’m from Dundrum in South Co Dublin, a very urban area with no horses! But my uncle is Michael Hussey, a former professional jockey. He’s also from Dundrum and Michael’s father, Christy [my grandfather] started bringing me to the races when I was a child.
Q: What is your earliest racing memory?
A: My first race meeting was in 2013 at Leopardstown. My uncle Michael had two rides and he won on both of them, the Group 3 Killavullen Stakes on Craftsman and a maiden on Adelaide. I continued to go racing with my grandfather whenever I could and I was there in 2018 when Michael won the Killavullen Stakes again on Coral Beach. After that I really started to get serious about racing.
Q: You set up an Instagram ‘fan’ page called Irish Racing Hub? Tell us about it.
A: I’m a big football fan and I previously ran an Instagram fan page on the Irish football team. But there are thousands of football fan accounts and it’s very hard to get access to players or even match tickets. Racing is much more accessible. Jockeys, trainers and racecourses are usually very helpful.
Q: What sort of content do you post?
A: I set it up in March 2020 when Covid hit and I had more time. I would ask jockeys to record videos at the races and send them to me and I would post them. At first my uncle Michael helped me with some contacts. I also used to take race videos from the broadcaster websites and put them to music. Jockeys would tell me their favourite song and I would use that as a backing track.
I’ve always wanted to be a journalist so I sometimes post racing previews or my thoughts on the sport, but I don’t bet. I just love racing.
Q: How popular is Irish Racing Hub?
A: It has 4,500 followers which I think is a very good number because I don’t go looking for followers or offer prizes and gimmicks. I must thank Fran Berry, Kevin O’Ryan and especially Johnny Ward for all the help and advice they have given me. I would love to be involved in writing or broadcasting some day.
I like jumps racing but I am more into the flat because of my background and also because I can follow it more when there’s no school. I’m heading into sixth year next September so I guess I won’t have as much time as before to keep the Instagram page updated.
Q: What problems or challenges have you faced so far?
A: My grandfather Christy has been great to bring me to the races. He even came to Royal Ascot with me this week. He has great patience because I tend to run off making videos or interviewing someone, leaving him on his own.
Most racecourses have been very good when I ask them for a press pass but some are less willing to help or to give me access to the parade ring.
I am not trying to take anyone’s job, all I want to do is promote racing, so I would ask that they give me a chance. The Curragh have been great.
Also, I am autistic and I try to highlight awareness of this condition on social media. People with autism tend to develop special interests and that has helped me discover racing.
Q: What advice would you give to other teenagers who want to get more involved in racing?
A: Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to email or message anyone in racing. I have found most people very helpful. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t always get a positive reply.