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McNamara happy to have gone pro

Leading Irish amateur Robbie McNamara is looking forward to a new challenge after deciding to turn professional.

McNamara is best known for his exploits in Irish bumpers, enjoying plenty of success in that sphere in recent years and building a particularly good relationship with top trainer Dermot Weld.

The rider enjoyed his first taste of Cheltenham Festival success earlier this year, guiding the Weld-trained Silver Concorde to success in the Champion Bumper before striking again the following day aboard Jim Culloty's Spring Heeled in the Kim Muir.

McNamara said: "My licence came through this morning, so I'm a professional as of now and I'm really looking forward to it.

"It's something I've wanted to do for the last few years, but my weight wasn't really allowing me to do it and I had plenty of good bumper horses to ride.

"The weight has settled down now, though, so hopefully I'll get going over hurdles and fences.

"I think I'll have my first couple of rides as a professional on Saturday.


"As an amateur I never really had a main trainer to ride for, apart from Dermot Weld, but I've ridden winners for 50 different trainers.

"I've plenty of contacts built up over the years, so hopefully I'll get plenty of rides.

"I obviously won't be able to ride in Irish bumpers any more, but I've been doing that for long enough and it's time for a change."