Ian Popham quits the saddle and starts life as an agent

Injury-plagued rider calls it a day but new chapter awaits

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Ian Popham has retired from riding and will begin a new career as an agent – with Harry Skelton on his books.

Popham, who won the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on Annacotty in 2013 for Martin Keighley, has struggled with injuries in recent years.

“As of now I’m a jockeys’ agent, I’ve relinquished my licence,” Popham told Racing UK’s Luck On Sunday programme.

“My career was blighted by injuries, I broke and dislocated my shoulder in January which kept me out for a long time so I think I’ve done the right thing.

“I felt it was time to move on and this is something I’ve always thought about.

“There are some great agents and Dave Roberts has set the bar very high, along with Chris Broad and Richard Hale, so it’s going to be tough for me. I’m starting at the bottom but there could be a gap in the market.”

Skelton finished 45 winners behind champion jockey Richard Johnson last season but has stated his intention to attempt at his crown.

“Harry is a very driven guy and if anyone can do it I believe he can,” said Popham.

“He’s a talented jockey and him and Dan (Skelton) have a vision to be the best. Being champion is the goal.

“To have Harry on my team is a massive plus.”

Conor Shoemark, Matt Griffiths, Charlie Poste, David England and Harry Stock are other jockeys on his books.

Ian Popham quits the saddle and starts life as an agent
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