Pat Smullen, the nine-times Irish champion jockey and multiple Classic-winning rider has died, aged 43.
Smullen, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2018, died at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin on Tuesday evening.
His initial treatment had been positive, but he suffered a relapse and was forced to abandon plans to ride in the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh in September last year – an event that proved an overwhelming success.
Born in County Offaly, on 22 May 1977, Smullen, the son of a farmer and who became involved with horses at the age of 11, went on to form a formidable alliance with master trainer Dermot Weld, taking over in 1999 from another riding great – Mick Kinane.
Among their greatest triumphs was the Derby at Epsom in 2016 with Harzand. The pair went on to secure the Irish Derby and cement the legacy of a rider who enjoyed his first victory at Dundalk on 11 June 1993.
Smullen leaves behind his wife, Frances, and their three children – Hannah, Paddy and Sarah.
- Excerpt from the Guardian