Jockeys are trolled daily online, with everything from their ability to their integrity being questioned and champion jockeys aren’t exempt, it seems.
Eleven-time Irish champion jockey and ‘Mr Cheltenham’, Ruby Walsh, has faced his (un)fair share of accusations of ‘jumping’ off horses. But ahead of next week’s Cheltenham Festival, Walsh has teamed up with Paddy Power to tackle the problem head-on by confronting one of his trolls face-to-face.
With Ruby scrolling through the Twitter profile of one of his many trolls, Ben ‘The Egg’, he notices that the hapless Tweeter has unwittingly revealed his address at which point Walsh suggests: “Come on, we’ll go and see him. He’ll shit himself.”
Upon meeting Ben “The Egg” the 52-time Cheltenham winner invites him along for a drive, suggesting it’ll be “a bit of craic”. That’s where the fun began…
For those wondering what speed the pick-up hit, Paddy can reveal it got up to 40mph – a racehorse’s top speed.
Speaking of trolling, when asked about it Ruby said: “If I was to read or worry about what people say on Twitter about me I’d never leave the house never mind going out to ride in the next race. People are entitled to their opinions, but I’ve no time for faceless abuse. Once I’ve spoken to the trainers and connections everyone else’s opinion is their own.
“Most of the time the abuse blows itself out as quickly as it starts. It’s irrelevant. You wonder how Twitter trolls feel if and when they read their tweets back,” he continued.
“Most of it is ridiculous. It doesn’t apply just to me – it’s the same for everyone who gets trolled. If someone was to actually sit down and think about what they’ve written in the cold light of day they’d see the stupidity of some of the comments. You wouldn’t say half these things to someone’s face, so why would you bother writing it?”
Asked for his thoughts on the matter, spokesman Paddy Power, said: “He’s not exactly Piers Morgan but Ruby still has to put up with more than his fair share of vitriol online.
“A lot of the time he gets accused of jumping off his ride, so we thought it was a great idea when he suggested that we create a video to point out the idiocy of this notion that might make people think twice before they tweet.”