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Kyle Maskiell

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    Posted: 08 Jun 2016 at 1:12pm

Kyle Maskiell: "I'll definitely come back"

BY Trent Masenhelder - @tmase04
1 day ago Horse Racing


Sick of trying to keep his weight under control, fed up with suspensions, tired of getting fined for breaching the new, highly-contentious whip rules, jockey Kyle Maskiell admits he contemplated giving the game away.

But now that he’s had time away to clear his head, the talented apprentice insists he’ll be back – he just doesn’t know when.

“I’m having a break and doing a bit of work," Maskiell told G1X.com.au. "I’m riding trackwork for my grandpa (Ken Hanson) and doing some stuff for a horse breaker. 

“I had issues with the whip rules. It was difficult being in Victoria, so I decided to stay in Tasmania.

“At the time, I was frustrated and considered looking for something else to do.

“But, I’ll definitely come back – it was stupid of me to say that.”

Further adding to Maskiell’s frustrations, an application to be indentured to Warrnambool trainer Jarrod McLean, also stable foreman for leading trainer Darren Weir, was unsuccessful.

“I went for my licence to become apprentice to Jarrod McLean and they declined that, purely on my whip breaches and getting suspended a fair bit, I think,” he added.

The son of Tasmanian Hall of Fame ex-jockey Stephen and younger brother of Jason, also a jockey, Maskiell had his first ride in January, 2015. He registered 22 winners for the season and finished seventh in the metro premiership.

Maskiell dipped his toe into Victorian waters at last year’s Warrnambool carnival in May, before drawing the attention of Weir.

In the same year, Maskiell was suspended and fined for breaching the whip rules more times than he cares to remember.

His first mainland double came for Australia’s premier trainer at Sandown in March, but that feat was soured by a $750 fine for using the whip twice more than allowed before the 100-metre mark. Later that month, the young gun was slapped with a 15-meeting ban after being found guilty of a charge of careless riding at Stawell.

Maskiell, who has notched 54 winners in both Tasmania and Victoria in 17 months, last rode at Devonport on May 15 at 56kg, which is heavy for an apprentice.

“Weiry offered for me to go to Darwin for three months for the carnival through (trainer) Neil Dyer, but I declined. I wanted to come back to Tasmania to help my grandfather out,” he said. “I wanted to have a bit of a break, given my weight issues and that, then get 100 per cent committed and then come back.

“I’m enjoying it here in Tassie... I’m playing a bit of footy for my home town (Bracknell) and just mucking around, being a kid again. In racing, you’re treated like a man, so it’s good.”

And when he does return, he has vowed to stay out of the stewards’ room.

Maskiell commented: “The rules are there and there’s no excuses. What happened is what happened. I know I have to change my style to fit within the rules. The last month before my break, I didn’t really have any trouble with it.”

Jason, meanwhile, is also eyeing up a return to the saddle. The champion Melbourne apprentice in 2009/10 hasn’t ridden since November 2013 due to a drug addiction.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3blindmice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2016 at 2:20pm
Good on him for endeavouring to get some balance in his life. Easy to forget many of these young riders are just kids thrown into a hectic and often over-hyped lifestyle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2016 at 5:41pm
Very true3 bm,some can handle it ,others easily led up the wrong path.There was no bigger lair or larrikin than Mel Shumacher in my early days.There were no drugs at all then, thank heavens. But a few of us called him Paladin I'll let you work out why.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 12:50pm

Former Tassie jockey bucks a family trend

KIRILI LAMB, Rural Weekly

BULL rider Kyle Maskiell is a long way from his origins in Tasmanian horse racing but he’s certainly following his dreams.

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Rural Weekly caught up with Maskiell while he was in Darwin, about to travel to Cairns to compete in the Georgetown and Mareeba Rodeos.

The 18-year-old is the youngest rider on the circuit and currently ranked number two on the Australian Professional Rodeo Association standings.

“APRA is the association I am chasing the most and the goal is obviously to win the Australian title this year and I’m currently at number two,” he said.

“It’s been my goal for the year and I’m glad I’m getting close. But there’s five rodeos to go and it’s pretty tight — it’s still anyone’s title”

He’s chasing a different destiny to family tradition. Maskiell’s family has a strong pedigree when it comes to Tasmanian horse racing, with brother Jason and father Stephen both successful jockeys and grandfather Ken Hanson a horse trainer.

Maskiellspent 18 months working as a jockey as a 15-year-old but said bull riding had always been his dream.

“I got on my first steer when I was about 10 or 12,” he said.

“My grandfather was a horse trainer and there was a breaker there and he rode broncs and he said ‘come down and get on a steer’ and I just sort of fell in love with it.”

Tasmania has several rodeos, which allowed Maskiell to gain his ground.

In the past 12 months he made the shift to the Victorian circuit, where he was able to connect with professional riders who helped him transition to the Australian pro-rider circuit, such as Tully’s Sam O’Connor, who sadly suffered severe spinal injuries in a spill at a Rockhampton event this year.

He credits that past jockey experience with helping with skills such as balance in his current sport but otherwise there’s no comparison.

Coincidentally, his recent win in the Open Bull event at Noonamah Tavern Rodeo, near Darwin, was on the same weekend that brother Jason, visiting the NT for the Darwin Cup Carnival season, won three events in a day at the Darwin Turf Club.

“It was a good day for the Tassie boys,” Maskiell said.

The rodeo circuit offers a lot of appeal in terms of lifestyle.

“There wouldn’t be a lot of people my age who have travelled around as much as I have,” he said.

“It’s definitely the life. We’re all best mates, there’s not a lot of competition between us fellas, it’s between us and the bulls at the end of the day.

“A lot of us travel around together in vans, all packed up full of bull riders. There’s a lot of time on the road between events. Our homes are scattered all around Australia, of course, and you meet a lot of people along the way, so there’s often somewhere to stay.”

Maskiell is keen to take bull riding as far as he can, starting with taking out the APRA title this year.

“Probably next year I will have a good go at the PBR and then I will take myself over to Canada and the States in the next couple of years,” he said.

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 1:00pm
Good luck to him.  Its not an easy life but at least there are no whip rules and weight to battle, which must be hard for the young people to manage. 
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 2:03pm
Hope he returns to racing one day. The kid can definitely ride.

He was riding Weir's horses down here for a few weeks and looked very polished on them.

The brother is also extremely talented. I hope he's past his problems now. I think l saw his name in Darwin the other week. Too good a jockey to be riding there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prince of Penzance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2018 at 2:42pm
Originally posted by MJB MJB wrote:

Hope he returns to racing one day. The kid can definitely ride.

He was riding Weir's horses down here for a few weeks and looked very polished on them.

The brother is also extremely talented. I hope he's past his problems now. I think l saw his name in Darwin the other week. Too good a jockey to be riding there.


Jason has been riding back one tassie for a little while now (after his latest drug ban)
I believe he has gone to Darwin for the Carnival and will be back down south when that wraps up
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