Jayden Barrie is a motivated man, with the apprentice keen to cement his place in the NSW jockey ranks.
A born-and-bred Kempsey product, Barrie kicked off his career in 2019, starting with Hilary Dew before spending time with Brett Bellamy in Coffs Harbour.
Still, he never really got the ball rolling and admitted that he didn’t take advantage of his earlier opportunities.
“I started in 2019 but didn’t ride for too long, and I had a break,” Barrie said.
“I Just needed to mature; it’s hard enough riding winners as it is, and being a shit to go with it makes it harder, and I was a bit of a shit.”
Now 20 victories into his stop-start career, the two-kilogram claimer is indentured to Cassandra Stummer, and he has a new outlook on life and being a successful jockey.
“I’ve just matured, and my whole life has slowed down,” Barrie said.
“Everything seems to be working out, and life’s been good. I was doing logging and working in a mechanic’s shop, and this job is pretty easy compared to swinging a chainsaw around all day.
“Plus, my partner (Jade Pawsey) and her father, Shane (Pawsey), have helped me a lot.
“Shane was a really good jockey and rode around Canberra before going to Cairns, and he’s a good bloke and is as solid as anything, and he has helped me a lot, and I need to thank him for that.”
Having good support helps, and the 23-year-old explained that a team of local trainers were throwing their support behind him as he attempted to make his mark in the country.
“I probably wanted a bit more of a quieter life, and I saw a lot of good horses racing out west, so I thought I’d make a move and start to target that area,” Barrie said.
“I’m getting a lot of support at the moment from Krissie (Simpkins), Jan (Bowen), Justin Bowen) and Pat (Farrell) in Muswellbrook, and I’m allowed to ride a lot of outside work; they look after me and put me on, which is great.”
According to the apprentice, Muswellbrook is the perfect location for a young jockey willing to do some kilometres in search of good rides.
“It’s actually perfect for me. It’s only four hours to home and four hours to Moree, and you can go three hours to Dubbo, and really, it’s smack bang in the middle of everything,” Barrie said.
While motivated to succeed, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Barrie, who was involved in a nasty fall at Wellington in July, which led to three months on the sidelines.
“I had that fall and broke my sternum, five ribs, and my shoulder,” Barrie said.
“I recovered all right, but it took three months, and I was doing a lot of physiotherapy, and I was trying to keep healthy; I didn’t let my weight get the best of me.”
Returning successfully after the fall, Barrie won the $30,000 Bowman Sprint (900m) at Muswellbrook on Melbourne Cup Day, which he described as ‘a great result’ when winning on the Pat Farrell-trained Zakor.
The opportunities have since started to filter through, and the youngster wants to work towards outriding his claim.
“My main aim is to ride out my country-claim and just ride my best,” Barrie said.
“I’d love to get to my top, and being realistic, I wouldn’t say I’m ready for provincials and all that yet, but I’d like to keep getting better, knock over my country claim, and get a good association with trainers from out west and build from there.”
The young hoop will get his chance to put his name out there further in the coming few days as he embarks on a 3000km trip that will give him ten rides across meetings at Warren (Friday), Moree (Saturday), Coonamble (Sunday) and Kempsey (Monday).
“There is a bit of driving, but I will be coming back to Muswellbrook and riding work each day,” Barrie said.
“I am dedicated to Jan, Justin, Pat, and Krissie’s horses, and they need to be worked.
“It’s exciting, as I’ve picked up rides for trainers I haven’t for before, and I will try and give them every opportunity, and hopefully, more doors will start to open.”