In 2015, Redwolf, trained by Alan Ryan won Race 7 of the Northern Rivers Association Country Championship qualifier held at the Clarence River Jockey Club.
In 2015, Redwolf, trained by Alan Ryan won Race 7 of the Northern Rivers Association Country Championship qualifier held at the Clarence River Jockey Club. Bruce Thomas / Daily Examiner

Northern Rivers racing mourns loss of popular trainer

NORTHERN Rivers racing has lost a popular figure with the sudden death of Grafton trainer Alan Ryan, aged 65.

Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie said Ryan, better known as 'Ally', commenced his training career in 2000 and has been a "favourite son" at his training base in Grafton ever since.

"Ally was a highly-respected member of the northern NSW racing community," Beattie said.

"In addition to his training business, Ally was a regular at most meetings in the Northern Rivers where he often worked as part of the barrier team."

Ryan also had a hand in developing jockeys as well, and will be remembered as the master of current leading country NSW jockey, Matthew McGuren.

"From a training perspective, Ally's biggest race day success came in 2015 when Redwolf, ridden by Matt McGuren, won the inaugural NRRA Country Championships Qualifier for Ryan and long-time stable supporter, Terry Kelly," Beattie said.

"Ironically, Ryan was preparing another horse for Kelly for a shot at this year's title with that horse Rioli entered for Saturday's Qualifier.

"Other notable performers prepared by Ryan in his career include Desperate Dan, Bundy Special and Futalac."

Funeral details will be provided once finalised.