Former Newent schoolboy on his Cheltenham Festival victory
It was only a few short years ago that Ryan Hatch was taking classes at Newent Community School.
And now the 19 year old is a Cheltenham Festival winner after riding to victory on Same Difference last week.
Ryan's passion for the sport started aged two when he learnt to ride pony Shadow.
He said: "I always wanted to ride from as early as I can remember. I was very much brought up with it."
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He said his father had predicted he would win and had a tear in his eye when Ryan triumphed at the "Olympics of horseracing".
His landmark success aboard Same Difference in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase was thanks to years of dedication.
Ryan said: "While my school friends were going out partying, I had to stay in and get up at 5.30am on a Saturday. But I wouldn't change it. I only got a few GCSEs and teachers tried to persuade me to study but they knew all I wanted to do was ride."
After school, he got a job at the Twiston-Davies stables at Grange Hill Farm, in Naunton, where he now lives and trains.
He celebrated his win at local pub The Hollow Bottom and said his old school mates had been texting their congratulations.
But Ryan said he came "back to earth" when he had to get up at 5.45am the next day and go back to work.