Jack de Bromhead, teenage son of leading trainer Henry, dies in ‘freak’ pony accident

Grand National and Gold Cup winning trainer Henry from Bromhead described his son Jack, who was killed in a pony racing crash on Saturday, as ‘a one of a kind child’ and said Sunday that he and his wife Heather were “really heartbroken.”

In what has been described as a ‘freak accident’ on Rossbeigh beach in Kerry, his pony is said to have veered off course around a bend in the sea where he fell during the fifth race of the Horse and Pony Races of Glenbeigh. He was treated by doctors but they could not save him.

In a message alongside the publication of his obituary on RIP.ie, Bromhead’s family said Jack had touched their whole life in the best possible way. “He will always be in our lives,” they said. “Always cherished, always loved, frozen in time with a beautiful young soul. He was an amazing son who told us he loved us every day. He had a heart overflowing with loyalty, empathy, patience , courage, courage and how he made us laugh!

He continued: “The passion he had for his family and friends extended to all of his hobbies and interests, too numerous to fit at 13 and he was certainly too busy to spend more than one hour. minute more than necessary in class.

“It started with his work on the farm, the tractor, the cattle, the ponies and the horses. He was a passionate expert at the age of 10. At age 11, he was offering expert consulting advice to his father on training.

Jack, who was an accomplished pony rider in other disciplines, was just getting into the sport open to under-16s and, having ridden five winners this season, including one at the recent Dingle Derby meeting , was not only important in the championship but picking up the outside rides, the hallmark of a good jockey.

He was born into racing. His grandfather Harry rode as an amateur and sent a Cheltenham Festival winner, Fissure Seal, from the family home in Knockeen near Waterford, passing the baton to Henry in 2000. His first winner was on the day of the millennium on his local course, Tramore.

It is now one of the most important yards in Ireland with, in 2021, de Bromhead becoming the first person to win Cheltenham’s holy trinity of Champion Hurdle (Honeysuckle), Champion Chase (Put The Kettle On) and Gold Cup (Minella Indo) in the same season before winning the Grand National three weeks later with Minella Times with stable jockey Rachael Blackmore on board.

Last season he won the Champion Hurdle for the second time with Honeysuckle, who remains undefeated in 16 starts, and the Gold Cup again, this time with A Plus Tard. Most of the time, the trainer’s accomplishments were overlooked because the focus was naturally on the jockey, but that never bothered him.

After being brought up to prominence in eventing and show jumping with his twin sister Mia and younger sister Georgia, Jack transitioned into pony racing last year. “I remember Henry telling me he was sitting on the arm of a couch practicing his finish and all he heard from the next room was whack, whack, whack” , remembers Peter Molony, family friend and blood agent.

“So they got him an equicizer for Christmas and Rachael Blackmore was giving him lessons. He was passionate about his races. He was just getting started and he never stopped smiling.

Pony racing is a hugely popular sport in Ireland with entire meets dedicated to it most weekends. Almost all of Ireland’s top flat and jump jockeys have graduated from its ranks. At a meeting there will usually be races for ponies, often small thoroughbreds, of different heights and over different distances. In Ireland they also race for prize money.

Indeed, it is so successful as a hotbed for future star jockeys that the sport was launched in Britain in 2007 under the auspices of the Pony Racing Authority (PRA) to give British jockeys an equal chance. In this regard, he was very successful. Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle were among the first jockeys to benefit.

Sunday’s Pony Club Race Day at Wolverhampton and two Racecourse Series races at York both took place. The PRA issued a statement saying: “Following the news of the tragic and freak accident at the Glenbeigh Racing festival yesterday, we send our thoughts and prayers to Bromhead’s family and all those in the Irish racing community. ponies.”

Out of respect, Gordon Elliott, one of Bromhead’s main rivals, canceled Sunday’s open day while jockeys at York and Fontwell rode in black armbands. Following the crash, the continuation of the Rossbeigh beach encounter, the first since the pandemic, was scrapped.

Jack de Bromhead, teenage son of leading trainer Henry, dies in ‘freak’ pony accident

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