Kieran Shoemark’s first Group 1 came in fine style at Goodwood in 2021 aboard Lady Bowthorpe in the Qatar Nassau Stakes. It was just reward for a man who had gone through his own personal demons and come out of the other side stronger.
It’s fair to say that Shoemark’s career has had its ups and downs since his breakthrough first Royal Ascot win on Roger Charlton’s Atty Persse for Godolphin in 2017. He suffered serious lung and rib injuries in a horrific fall at Lingfield the following summer and even worse was to come in 2019, when he was suspended for six months after failing a drug test and for the first time publicly acknowledged that he had an alcohol problem too.
That suspension evidently came as a relief, as it was the wake-up call he needed. He took a long look at himself and his lifestyle, spoke frankly and openly about his problems, and since returning to the saddle he has worked tirelessly at rehabilitating himself and restoring his reputation.
Shoemark now appears to be riding right at the top of the his game. His hard work and attitude rewarded by Lady Bowthorpe’s owner, music mogul Emma Banks who stuck with him throughout the horses career, despite having the option of other jockeys.
Expect much more to come from him in the coming years.