Pat Eddery, who was named champion Flat jockey 11 times in England and captured 14 British Classics during his career, has died at age 63.
The Telegraph reports that Eddery won 4,633 races during his career; only Sir Gordon Richards captured more races in Britain since World War II.
Eddery was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland on March 18, 1952. His first win came aboard Alvaro at Epsom in 1969. During a career that spanned 36 years, Eddery won four Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes, three Epsom Derbys, and two Breeders’ Cup races.
During his career, Eddery was associated with some of the best horses and stables in Europe. He rode such great horses as Dancing Brave, Bosra Sham, Sadler’s Wells, Rainbow Quest, El Gran Senor, Grundy, Zafonic, Warning and Pebbles, to name just a few.
Eddery retired from the saddle in 2003, and switched his focus to training. He saddled his first winner in 2005, and sent out a Group 1 winner in Hearts Of Fire, who won Italy’s Gran Criterium in 2009.
Eddery rode several winners for Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm during his career. On Tuesday, Juddmonte issued the following statement on the passing of Eddery:
“The Juddmonte team is deeply saddened to hear of the death of jockey and trainer Pat Eddery OBE.
Pat’s first ride for Prince Khalid was on Known Fact in the Prix Jacques le Marois in August 1980, where he finished fifth. Just a few days later, Pat rode the Prince’s Bel Bolide to win the Gimcrack Stakes at York. It was the first of 598 winners that Pat rode for the Prince and Juddmonte Farms – 33 of them were at Gr.1 level including Dancing Brave, Zafonic, Rainbow Quest, Danehill, Jolypha and Distant View. He also trained the winners of nine races in the pink-and-green colours.
Our sincere condolences to all Pat’s family and friends.”
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority also paid tribute to the late rider:
“It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Pat Eddery. He is one of the great horsemen of our time. His ability, achievements and personality meant that he is one of that rare breed of jockeys who transcends our sport and becomes a household name, and he will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by many.
“After his riding career ended, Pat remained in the Racing Industry and held a licence to train for the last 10 years. In 2012 he acted as a judge in the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, freely and generously giving up his time to give something back to the industry which gave him so much.
“We will be forever grateful for what he did for our sport.”