“When I was growing up, I always rode ponies and did show jumping but I never considered being a jockey until I was 14 – I always wanted to be a pilot!”
High flying jockey Craig Grylls (29) has returned from an 18 month successful stint in Singapore where he rode 44 winners and has also ridden successfully in Macau and Australia.
But he has really lived up to his bloodlines – and his dream of being a pilot!
He was born to ride. His father, Gary, who Craig says has been the single biggest influence in his career, rode almost 1300 winners in NZ, whilst grandfather, Johnny ( or J F Grylls to all) landed 700 winners. He had a fairy tale start to his career when he rode his 1st winner as a 15 year old at Ellerslie at only his 3rd race ride, and has now amassed nearly 800 wins in NZ for close to $15 million in prize-money, including the 2019 NZ Derby at Ellerslie, his favourite track, causing a huge upset guiding Crown Prosecutor to victory paying over $100 to win!
And, yes, he holds a Private Pilots License – with the help of his aircraft engineer neighbour, he assembled a single seat aircraft he purchased in kit form from the United States.He began flying lessons from age 14, went solo at 15, and has had his license for a few years.
Married to Milou, herself an accomplished horse woman- working in top Stables like Te Akau Stud and Donna Logan Racing in Singapore – Craig says “ I can’t think of a better job – its outdoors & its Sport, I get a huge adrenalin rush out of racing and love working with animals – and I can even fly myself to the racetrack!”
“I’m proud to be a Life Education Ambassador and look forward to carrying Harold over the finish line and promoting his vital work with Kiwi Kids”