By: Devan Macke
Growing up in Ireland, where thoroughbred racing is a national sport, Paul Maxwell became very passionate for the sport at a young age. He worked briefly on a breeding farm in Ireland, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to break into this particular industry, never mind climbing the ladder.
With a passion for racing and a great desire to travel, Paul took the plunge at 21 years old, and moved to Lexington, Kentucky, also known as “Thoroughbred City” and the “Horse Capital of the World”. Once there, he was able to get a job on a farm where he began learning every aspect of the Thoroughbred industry. For example, within a couple of months, he was handling stallions for breeding. Back in Ireland, it would have taken years to get even on this level.
After a few years, Paul moved to Virginia so that he could start riding. After three years of hard work, he was riding as an amateur jockey at a racing stable. Again, this opportunity would not have presented itself in Ireland, as he did not learn to ride when he was young. America claims to be the land of opportunity, and Paul says “it truly is…”, and states this as his reason for staying in the U.S. instead of going back to Ireland.