Determination, discipline and consistency.
By Sacha Vaz
These are the main characteristics of the Brazilian jockey who recently won, for the second time, the most traditional horse race in Canada, the Queen’s Plate. Eurico Rosa da Silva, 35, born in Buri, a state of São Paulo, was greeted personally by Queen Elizabeth.
“It was a milestone in my life, a great accomplishment. Twenty years from now, I will look at the picture and say: I met the Queen!” “She was very nice to me”, continued Eurico, and she was impressed that my horse started in first position and won the race, something that happens rarely. “Only those who understand horse racing know about it,” confesses Eurico.
To compete with a good horse is like driving a good car. A racehorse can cost from 10,000 to 10 million dollars. Eurico’s victory in the Queen’s Plate 2010 was mainly due to his horse, Big Red Mike. “I would say that in a race, the odds of winning depend on the development of both: eighty percent from the horse and twenty percent from the jockey. Thank God, now I can ride the horses of the best coaches in Canada.”
Eurico left Brazil 13 years ago and lived in Macau, China, for four years. In 2003 he visited Canada for the first time. It was his brother-in-law who took him to the racetrack in Toronto, the traditional Woodbine Racetrack. After discovering the whole structure and support offered to jockeys, Eurico decided to move to Canada with his wife in 2004. Since then he has done an excellent job, with more than 400 victories.
He grew up very close to the animals on the farm where his parents worked. At six, Eurico rode a horse for the first time. At 12, he already knew what he wanted to be: a jockey. Despite the concern of his parents because he had already broken his arms and
three ribs riding, Eurico followed his path. He met Zeli Medeiros, who taught him everything about horses. After four years of dedication, he realized his dream of entering the Preparation School for Jockeys, offered by the Jockey Club of São Paulo. In Brazil, one must win 70 races in a period of two years to become professional.
Eurico, reached that mark in 10 months and at 17 became a professional jockey. He was a leader among the learners. In six years, Eurico won over 500 races in Brazil, including the great Derby Paulista.
According Eurico, the person who dreams of being a jockey must first learn to give love and trust to the horses. Training is hard and requires great physical stamina. Besides fitness training, you have to spend more than six hours a day, six times a week practicing with the horses.
About the future, Eurico says he will be running in the Saratoga Racecourse in New York and later in the Prince Of Wales in Toronto. In the winter, he will compete in Singapore. “All I want is to have peace, to be with my family and focus on my work. I feel joy while riding on a horse. They teach me a lot,” he concludes.
Follow Enrico in Woodbine, by accessing his page.