Pat Eddery, one of the most successful jockeys of all time, died Nov. 10 at the age of 63. According to reports from Great Britain, he had been in poor health.
Eddery was champion flat jockey 11 times, won 11 British classics, and captured the prestigious Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) four times. He also won two Breeders’ Cup races: the Turf (gr. IT) with Pebbles in 1985 and the Sprint (gr. I) with Sheikh Albadou in 1991. He retired in 2003 with more than 4,600 winners.
“Pat was a truly great jockey in every way,” said Steve Drowne, joint president of the Professional Jockeys Association. “He was the man we all aspired to be in the saddle. Everyone looked up to him in the weighing room. He was just a great person to be around—a professional’s professional.”
“It was a pleasure and a privilege to sit next to him on occasions and an even greater one to ride against him,” said Dale Gibson, a former jockey and executive director of the PJA. “He never seemed to fluster or show any sign of nerves, whatever the circumstances. He developed his own unique style which some tried to copy but rarely replicated, his hands were silk, his whip action perfection.”