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Swan makes shock retirement decision

19 January 2015

IN a decision that will send ripples of shock and unease through the Irish racing world, Charlie Swan has announced his retirement from training, effective from the end of this month.

The former nine-time Irish champion jump jockey, who had already launched a successful training career before retiring from the saddle in 2003, told his staff of his decision on Wednesday and has informed his owners. He plans to develop his bloodstock trading interests.

Swan said: "I would like to thank all my staff most sincerely for their hard work, dedication and loyalty over the years. I have been very lucky to have trained horses for wonderful owners and would like to take the opportunity to thank them all for their constant support, advice and assistance."

Reflecting on the end of this second chapter of a distinguished career, Swan said: "It was a very hard decision to make in one sense, because of the staff and the owners. However, the reality is the training business is no longer viable for me for two main reasons, the increased cost of labour, feed and all the overheads, and a reduction in numbers in the yard."

Having had upwards of 70 horses in his care before the effects of the recession began to take hold, the stable has been operating with around half that number over the past year or so.

Swan said: "It has become more and more difficult to make the training operation profitable. Also we have been selling some of the more promising youngsters and that has left us without horses to keep the profile of the stable high."

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