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Retiring Cathy Gannon looks to the future

Cathy Gannon is keen to move forward with her life after being forced to admit defeat in her bid to return to the saddle.

The 35-year-old has been sidelined since suffering serious foot injury in the starting stalls at Lingfield in May of last year.

She had initially hoped to return to action in time to ride in the Shergar Cup last summer, but her comeback has continually been delayed and after taking further advice from doctors, she has called time on her successful riding career.

Gannon said: "I've had a second opinion and they said it (the foot) is not fit enough for racing. It won't handle the pressure of being on the ball of your foot all the time and won't take too many bangs in the stalls.

"Obviously I have to listen to their advice. That's the way it is.

"It was a Lisfranc injury and 8 out of 10 footballers wouldn't get back from it. I had multiple fractures in my toes and I didn't actually think it was as serious as it was when it happened.

"As time went on and I tried to make progress, it wasn't happening."

Gannon began her career in Ireland in 1998 and was crowed champion apprentice in 2004.

She moved to Britain two years later and went on to ride a total of 440 career winners.

The only Group-race success of her career came aboard the David Evans-trained Dingle View in the 2010 Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh.

She was named Lady Jockey of the Year at the Lesters on three occasions.

Reflecting on her near 20-year stint in the saddle, Gannon continued: " It was a great roller coaster. I made so many good friends and had a great time.

"But obviously I've got a family now and I have to listen to the specialist and move forward.

"I can't ride forever and I have to look forward to something else."

Gannon plans to return to her homeland later in the year and will continue to ride.

"I've been doing some jockey coaching and I plan to move home to Ireland in October," she told At The Races.

"The specialist said I could ride out a little and I'm getting a proper boot I can use.

"When you're riding out you're not on the foot all the time, so I'll probably ride out in the mornings and do some jockey coaching in the evenings."

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