So, this is who I am…

THE NANCY COLUMN, IRC NEWSLETTERS, ALTERNATE WEDNESDAYS

I’m really honoured to have been asked by the guys at IRC to try and fill the boots of Kangaroo Jack after his recent retirement. I’ve seen kangaroo feet, so I’ve got some pretty big boots to fill.

I thought I’d introduce myself before diving into your inbox with my pearls of wisdom. My background is sports management. Specifically I spent pre covid representing some of the world’s best road racers. Including Isle of Man TT Outright Lap Record Holder, Peter Hickman. Bike racing and National Hunt have some surprising crossovers. The obvious being that all National Hunt jockeys I’ve met are quite mad. This includes my partner, a French former amateur jumps jockey. 

I’ve seen my bike riding clients take huge slaps, tell the medical centre all is well, then squeeze broken fingers into stiff leather gloves and go again. I’ve watched riders win races with broken collar bones. Peter Hickman broke his neck, back and punctured a lung during a British Superbike Race in 2015. A month later he raced at Isle of Man TT. 

You only have to watch Being AP, (BBC Films:2015) to know that regardless of whether it’s 1 horse power or 250 of the buggers underneath these men (and women, obvs) – their drive to win and dedication to their respective sports isn’t just a passion, it’s ingrained into them. A speed gene maybe? Who knows. Whether their steed is made of flesh and bones or metal and carbon, the person atop is almost definitely, charmingly unhinged. 

UNHINGED: Hickmann (top) and McCoy (below).

Post covid, I find myself a permanent resident at a national hunt yard in Oxfordshire. My partner, Jeremy, is Head Lad here. I released all my clients from their contracts when the pandemic hit and now, I spend my time writing. Actually, that’s not really a fair representation of what I do. I spend about 10% of my day actually writing. The rest is divided between hovering around the fridge, feeding racehorses carrots, and a large amount of time procrastinating over how I’m going to give Dave (the latest retiree on the yard and, in my opinion, the greatest racehorse that ever lived) a forever home. Much to the dismay of Jeremy who just sees a very expensive garden ornament. 

The IRC contacted me a little while back when I wrote an article about the Frost/Dunne case. From there we shared a few views on Twitter and I was delighted when they asked me to jump on board. There are lots of things in the racing industry I want to write about. I love a bit of controversy, to delve into matters that aren’t being covered enough by the industry press. I’m a huge supporter of the racing staff, passionate about mental health and sometimes (okay, often) I just love a damn good rant about things. 

I also love interaction with anyone that reads my stuff. Debate is important and as I mainly write opinion pieces, I think it’s only right that I listen to others opinions of my work. Twitter is an excellent platform for debate so, if you find something I write interesting or are compelled to point out something I’ve not factored in, or even to bring my attention to something you think needs discussing, then either tweet the IRC or, come and find me and tell me! Having worked with bikers for many years, I’m pretty thick skinned and I’ll welcome the excuse to stop doing whatever work I’m supposed to be doing, to have a chat on the internet. 

I’m really looking forward to being a part of the team and hope I can add a little slice of value to an already awesome group of people. For now, I shall sign off. I’ve eaten massively into my 10% daily work allowance here and I’m almost certain the fridge is wondering where I’ve been. – IRC.

Follow Nancy on Twitter @NotNowNancy.

See, Dave’s a smiler, always!

10-year-old Dave’s racing name was ‘Another Drama’. He actually won a race, a point-to-point in 2018. It was a Maiden with four runners on bitterly hard ground. I want to retain him as a therapy horse or something. He’s basically just a massive, oversize dog. He needs to be cuddled and fed and walked. That’s when he is happiest. One day, he will be my Dave. – Nancy.

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