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He was born in Kill, County Kildare. Showing talent from an early age, Walsh won the Irish amateur title twice, in 1996/7 (aged 18) and 1997/8, before turning professional. He won the English Grand National in 2000 at his first attempt, aged 20, on Papillon, a horse trained by his father and owned by Mrs J Maxwell Moran.
To date Walsh has ridden over nineteen hundred winners, including 32 winners at the Cheltenham Festival since his first win in 1998 on Alexander Banquet. These include the 2004 Queen Mother Champion Chase on Azertyuiop, the 2007 and 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup on the favourite, Kauto Star.
In March 2011, Walsh rode Hurricane Fly to victory in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, finishing ahead of Peddlers Cross and Oscar Whisky. It was Walsh's first victory in the feature race of the opening day at the Cheltenham Festival.
A fall at the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham in November 2008 resulted in Walsh having his spleen removed in an emergency operation. He returned to the saddle merely 27 days later.
- goracing profile Ruby Walsh
- 'National: Quote ... unquote'
- "Cheltenham Festival: Hurricane Fly wins Champion Hurdle". BBC Sport. 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Irreplaceable Ruby Walsh takes it all in his stride