‘Riding For Freedom’: Champion Jockey’s Memoir Includes Battling Personal Demons, Addictions

Top Canadian Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva released his first book on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Riding for Freedom is a raw personal memoir on his struggles to overcome an abusive father and debilitating addictions to survive the high stakes world of horse racing.

In his 16 triumphant seasons racing at Woodbine Racetrack, Eurico Rosa da Silva won seven Sovereign Awards as the outstanding jockey in Canada. He rode horses to victory in two consecutive Queen’s Plate races and won the World All-Star Jockeys Challenge against top jockeys from France, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Born on a dairy farm in an impoverished community in rural Brazil, da Silva determined at an early age that he would become a champion jockey. With implacable focus, he pursued his goal, first in Brazil, then through Macao to Canada, where he earned a reputation as an intensely focused and good-humored competitor.

But the real challenge in his life had little to do with horse racing. Since his childhood in Brazil, da Silva had been engaged in a much more lethal contest against a deep-seated anger that sometimes threatened to derail not just his career, but his life as well.

The negativity and self-doubt consumed him and sent him down a path of self‑destruction that led him to despair even in his great moments of victory. With the support of a qualified therapist, Da Silva began his greatest race – to free himself from his sex and gambling addictions along with the tyranny of his past.

More than an account of Eurico’s rise to international renown in the high stakes horse‑racing world, this is also the story of his conquest of the demons that haunted him throughout his career. From his birth and early years in Brazil, this book describes his ascent to the highest ranks of his athletic profession. It also lays bare his struggle to heal the emotional scars inflicted by an absent and negligent father, and his victory over the forces that threatened at times to end his life.

Riding for Freedom by Eurico Rosa da Silva is now available on Amazon.

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