RETIRED: Damian Browne has announced his retirement from the sport.
RETIRED: Damian Browne has announced his retirement from the sport. ALBERT PEREZ

Buffering among fond memories for retiring jockey Browne

HORSE RACING: His career in the saddle may have come to an unfortunate end, but Sunshine Coast jockey Damian Browne is hopeful he won't stray too far from the track.

The 46-year-old called time on his 30-year career in the racing industry yesterday following long-standing issues with chronic knee pain.

He hadn't ridden since January after undergoing emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, believed to have been caused by the anti-inflammatory medication taken to manage the issue.

"I can't take the medication I normally take for it now so it's going to be an ongoing problem,” Browne said.

"So, I just thought riding any more would just be too painful and that's why I've had to come to this decision.

"It'd be nice to have gone out on my own terms rather than to go our this way but I've got tremendous support from family and friends which makes it a lot easier.”

The Caloundra jockey reflected on his highly successful three decade journey, in which he had his first ride at Riccarton Park in Chrischurch, New Zealand, in 1989.

He's earned 15 lucrative Group 1 victories since that day among his remarkable 1035 race wins.

"I've been lucky to have a fairly decent stretch of a career, so I'm pretty happy with that,” he said.

"I was lucky enough to be given some great opportunities from good trainers on some very good horses which made my job a lot easier and got my name up in lights so I was very fortunate for that to have happened.

"I got on a great horse in Buffering as well which certainly helped too.”

It was that gelding he held a particularly memorable success, when it won the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup Night at Dubai in 2016.

"It's very difficult to go that far across the world and compete and let alone win so that's probably a highlight that stands out, but aside from that I've been lucky to have many highlights throughout my career,” Browne said.

Browne said it was a tough decision to retire and that there would be plenty he'd miss.

"I really enjoyed riding horses and I always felt I had a pretty good affinity with them and it's certainly something I'm going to miss, that and the competitiveness,” he said.

"Aside from that (I'll miss) just the camaraderie in the jockeys room as well.”

Although he's time in the saddle is over, Browne was keen to remain a part of the sport and said he'd still head down to enjoy the races.

"It's been a huge part of my life for the last 30 years so I'd certainly like to stay within the industry in some form - what that is exactly at the moment is unclear but over the next month or two I'll probably work that out,” he said.

EARLIER: Sunshine Coast jockey Damian Browne has announced his retirement from the track after a stellar 30-year career.

The Group 1-winning jockey has battled chronic knee pain for a number of years and had been taking anti-inflammatory drugs to manage the issue.

However, he was rushed to Sunshine Coast University hospital in January to undergo emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, believed to have been caused by the anti-inflammatory medication.

While his bowel and kidneys stablised, Browne has since struggled with his leg pain.

He announced his retirement early on Tuesday morning and spoke with the Sunshine Coast Daily on the decision and his glittering career on the country's top tracks.

MORE TO COME



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