By David Brasch
THAT Linda Britton can be pretty persuasive when she puts on the charm, just ask leading WA jockey Ryan Hill.
Back in 2017, now 31-year-old Ryan headed to dinner to be part of the celebrations when Neville Parnham was being inducted into Racing WA\’s Hall of Fame.
Ryan is best of mates with Neville\’s sons Brad, Chris and Steve.
When Ryan sat down at that Hall of Fame dinner, among those on his table were greyhound racing legends Linda Britton and her partner Chris Halse. During the night, Ryan made ‘the fatal mistake’ of asking Linda how he would get into greyhound racing.
The rest is history.
Fast forward to 2021 and Ryan Hill, 31, and his partner Victoria now have their own 18-acre property, a litter of pups to rear, and a devotion to greyhound racing.
Every week he takes time out from his own riding commitments to visit the Britton/Halse complex.
Ryan says winters in WA are pretty wonderful, but winters back home \”not so much\”.
He rode in his UK homeland for six months before deciding winter at home on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent was too much.
He decided to visit WA and has not been back. That was 13 years ago.
Ryan has been in the top 10 of WA jockeys for most recent years. His best results have come via New Spice and Last Of The Line the latter heading towards this year\’s Group 1 Railway Stakes.
The result of that hall of fame dinner back in 2017 was that Ryan was invited by Linda to come out and pick a pup to buy.
He got to choose between three bitches in a litter by Kinloch Brae-West On Bluebird, the dam of sister to legend Miata and by then a star broodbitch.
\”I picked out Lindy,\” said Ryan.
She raced as Kiss Me Linda and started 85 times for 19 wins, 18 seconds and 16 thirds for stakes of $152,000. She won at Cannington and Mandurah, was second in the G2 WA Oaks, third in the WA Puppy Classic, twice a finalist in the G1 Perth Cup.
Ryan brought in the Parnham boys and Gareth Hall host of the The Sports Daily on TAB Radio. He says it is a racing outlet for all of them.
\”We actually had a heap more jockeys who put their hand up to come into the syndicate, but quite a few dropped out,\” he said. \”Coming from a racing background we all knew as long as the bitch won a race we would be lucky.
\”To be beaten a lip in the Oaks and then to make the Perth Cup final twice was a huge bonus.\”
With the success of Kiss Me Linda, Ryan quickly became so hooked he and Victoria have bought their own rearing property where they have a Mepunga Blazer-Kiss Me Linda litter.
\”I\’m chasing three quality broodbitches for the property,\” he said. \”I have Weblec Bloom racing in WA, but would like a couple more.\”
Ryan\’s sister Rebecca has since moved to WA but their parents Kevin and Dawn are still back in England.
\”I grew up with greyhounds,\” said Ryan. \”Dad trained a few when I was young and I\’ve always had a passion for them.
\”Mum and dad make a good thing of watching whenever we have dogs racing. He cannot believe the money we race for over here. Prizemoney in England, or the lack of it, is why dad gave up training.\”
Ryan leans on Linda and Chris often for advice in regards to his greyhound property, feeding, rearing … you name it.
\”They are always happy to give me all the advice I ask for,\” he said.