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Happy 50th For Sunday, Anthony

Spending the day with his family

Three-time South African Champion jockey Anthony Delpech who retired from the saddle just over a  week ago, celebrated his 50th birthday on Sunday. .

A file pic shows Candice & Anthony Delpech with ,Damon then 15,Chelsea then 12,and in front,Brooklyn then 4.

He told David Thiselton of www.goldcitrcle.co.za  that the feeling of loss he felt when finally forced to retire from the saddle last week was difficult to explain, although he was able to look back on a glittering career.

“Something that was a part of you is gone, you feel robbed. I was used to getting up in the morning to go to work and now I don’t know what to do with myself, but if you try and explain your feelings to people they just don’t understand.”

Even as he spoke he was in pain and something as routine as putting on shoes is now avoided if possible.

There is a burning sensation in his leg, hands and arms, with the leg being particularly noticeable.

“It feels as if somebody has rubbed deep heat on my leg down to my feet.”

Delpech started workriding again a couple of weeks ago and hoped this would help his path to recovery.He rode a couple of horses the first day back and the burning in his leg got worse.

In a subsequent session he upped the number he rode by one or two and the burning got so bad he could hardly bear to have his riding breeches on.

His doctor advised him later that day to never ride a horse again as it was putting more pressure on the spine.

Delpech said, “I went in that day not realising it was going to be the end so it was really hard.”

However, he had to put his family responsibilities first and heeded the advice.

Doctors told him after his shocking fall in the SA Classic in April last year he would likely never ride again. However, his own doctor had seen how badly he wanted to get back in the saddle and had given him every opportunity to do so. Delpech tried everything from oxygen therapy to physiotherapy to chiropractic treatment and other methods in his bid to recover.

He said one of the hardest parts in accepting his fate was that despite being 50 years of age he felt he had been riding better than ever at the time of the fall. He said he owed this partly to Mary Slack, who had retained him for two years.

He said, “It was two of the best years of my career, I felt rejuvenated, it was like having a new job and I couldn’t wait to get to work to see which new horses of Mary’s there were. She has been behind me throughout this ordeal and has contacted me at least once a week.”

We hope it’s a good day and wishing you many more from all of us at the SP,

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9 comments on “Happy 50th For Sunday, Anthony

  1. Angela Bahll says:

    Happy 50th birthday! Wishing you all the best!

  2. Devon says:

    Nobody will know how you feel. Keep in touch with racing. Kevin Shea is involved someone.

    Maybe you could start training horses.
    Once a horseman always a horseman.

    Good luck.
    You are a fantastic jocky. I mean you are and not were.

  3. Mervin says:

    Happy 50th birthday.You was one of the best jockeys in the world.

    As a punter and owner I always admired your talent ,you brought joy to my family when you won on my horse as a first timer owner.

    Therefore you an inspiration to Alot of people.

    I am sure you will play a part in the horse racing .

    God bless you and your family


  4. Lawrence Radebe says:

    Happy birthday My favorite jockey and put God first in everything and enjoy the rest… I think you should consider being a horse trainer like Mr Andrew fortune that experience is needed in this sport

  5. Barry van Biljon says:

    Anthony you have set many records in a stellar career, now the best is still to come. You are a true family man, enjoy your new life and just embrace the fact that you survived a shocking injury. Yours forever in SA…..334 winners not out. Cheers !! Barry van Biljon

  6. Winston says:

    Hey Ant! Get a biochemist, sports physiologist and pharmacologist and start up shop! With your experience and love of horses, won’t be difficult!

  7. cor teunissen says:

    Many happy returns, Anthony. Thank you for affording me many years of watching the master in action. We will miss your total dedication to the sport. I am certain racing will benefit from your expertise in days to come. May God bless you and your family in the year ahead. The way you were always totally focussed on the task ahead as you left the parade ring at Greyville will be a lasting memory. Go well.

  8. gavin says:

    happy birthday champ.. a sad day for racing

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