Parents pay tribute to ‘extraordinary’ 13-year-old jockey killed in horse race

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The grieving parents of a 13-year-old jockey who died in a horse racing accident have paid tribute to their “extraordinary and beautiful” son.

In an online post, leading horse trainer Henry de Bromhead and his wife Heather described Jack de Bromhead as a “perfect, funny, loving son”.

His death has shocked the Irish racing community after he passed away in County Kerry on Saturday.

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He had competed in the Glenbeigh Horse and Pony Race on Rossbeigh Beach. The racing event was canceled immediately after the incident.

It is clear that the young jockey fell from his horse.

“On September 3, we said goodbye to our extraordinary, beautiful 13-year-old son Jack,” his parents said.

“A unique child who has touched our whole lives in the best possible way – he will be forever present in our lives.

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“Always cherished, always loved, frozen in time with a beautiful young soul.

Trainer Henry de Bromhead is Jack’s father

(FATHER)

“He was an amazing son who told us he loved us every day – an overflowing heart of loyalty, empathy, patience, guts, courage and how he made us laugh,” they continued.

“Not only the perfect, funny, loving son, but also an incredible, loving brother to our beautiful daughters, his twin sister Mia and his little sister, Georgia.

“He always had their back and was fiercely loyal and friendly. Our hearts are really broken.

“He made so many friends wherever he went and they felt his special, unique and loyal touch on their lives too. We ask that they please celebrate and love him as we know he would have wanted to.

Jack was known outside of racing for an interview he gave to RTE earlier this year

(RTE)

“Jack has lived so many more years than the 13 – filling every moment of his days, always busy, forever grasping curiously at life and new interests.

“The passion he had for his family and friends extended to all of his hobbies and interests – too much to fit in 13 years and certainly too busy to spend more than a minute in class than was necessary.

“It started with his work on the farm, the tractor, the cattle, the ponies and horses. By the time he was 10, he was a passionate expert in this field.

“At 11, he provided expert advice and consultation to his father on horse training, while developing his father’s passion for all aspects of racing.”

A memorial to Jack has been built on the beach where he had a fatal accident

(RTE)

His parents said he recently started a new school where he made new friends.

“Jack’s friendships were of the deep and loyal kind and were cherished by him,” she added.

“Jack, you will always be with us, at home in the heart of your family and friends. Always present, always cherished with so many memories of your overcrowded, extraordinary life.

“Dearly loved and missed by your parents, Henry and Heather, your sisters Mia and Georgia, your grandparents Andrew, Marian, Harry and Sally, your aunts and uncles, extended family and friends.”

In a statement, Gardai said emergency services were called to the scene on Rossbeigh beach at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday.

Jack was treated at the scene but was later pronounced dead.

The horse race took place on Rossbeigh Beach in County Kerry

(Getty)

His body was taken to the morgue at Kerry University Hospital.

Meanwhile, Pony Racing tweeted: “We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jack de Bromhead who tragically passed away on Saturday at Glenbeigh.

“It is impossible to put into words the sense of grief and loss felt by all involved, so please give them time to grieve. RIP Jack.”

Suzanne Eade, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “Like everyone in the horse racing and pony racing community, I want to extend my deepest condolences to (Jack’s) parents Henry and Heather, his sisters Mia and Georgia, and extended family at the tragic loss of their beloved Jack.

“Jack may have been only 13, but he was already incredibly popular in the racing community.

“His family and friends, his pony racing colleagues and all those whose lives he touched are in our thoughts today amid this numbing, devastating tragedy.”

She said Horse Racing Ireland, through the Industry Assistance Program, “helps provide counseling to Jack’s pony racing colleagues and friends. May he rest in peace.”

Darragh O’Loughlin, chief executive of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, said: “The directors and staff of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board extend their deepest condolences to the de Bromhead family on the tragic loss of Jack. May he rest in peace.”

The British Horseracing Authority tweeted: “The BHA sends its deepest condolences to the family of Henry de Bromhead following the tragic death of his son Jack.”

Fellow horse trainer Gordon Elliott canceled an open day in his yard on Sunday.

Additional reporting by PA