The grieving parents of a 13-year-old jockey who died after 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 “the perfect, fun, loving son.”
His death has caused shock in the Irish racing community after he passed away in County Kerry on Saturday.
He had competed in the Glenbeigh horse and pony races on Rossbeigh beach. The race event was canceled immediately after the incident.
The young jockey is believed to have fallen from his horse.
“On September 3rd, we said goodbye to our extraordinary, beautiful 13-year-old son, Jack,” his parents said.
“A unique child who touched all of our lives in the best possible way – he will be a part of our lives forever.
“Always cherished, always loved, frozen in time with a beautiful young soul.
“He was an amazing son who told us every day that he loves us – an overflowing heart of loyalty, empathy, patience, courage, bravery and how he made us laugh,” they continued.
“Not only the perfect, fun, loving son, but also an incredibly loving brother to our beautiful daughters, his twin sister Mia and little sister Georgia.
“He always stood behind them and was extremely loyal and kind. Our hearts are really broken.
“He made so many friends wherever he went and they also felt his special, unique and loyal touch in their lives. We ask them to celebrate and love him as we know he would have wished.
“Jack has lived so many more years than 13 – filling every moment of his days, always busy, always curious to grasp life and new interests.
“The passion he had for his family and friends extended to all of his hobbies and interests – too many to fit into 13 years and certainly too busy to spend more than a minute more in the classroom than necessary.
“It started with his work on the farm, the tractor, the cattle, the ponies and the horses. Already at the age of 10 he was a passionate expert on them all.
“At age 11 he offered his father expert advice and guidance regarding the training of horses while developing his father’s passion for all aspects of racing.”
His parents said he recently opened a new school where he made new friends.
“Jack’s friendships were deep and loyal and he valued them very much,” they added.
“Jack, you will always be in our homes, in the hearts of your family and friends. Always present, always treasured with so many memories of your packed, extraordinary life.
“Deeply 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, your extended family and friends.”
In a statement, Gardai said emergency services were called to the crime scene on Rossbeigh beach around 5.20pm on Saturday.
Jack was treated at the scene but was later pronounced dead.
His body was taken to the morgue at Kerry University Hospital.
Meanwhile, Pony Racing tweeted: “We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jack de Bromhead, who tragically passed away in Glenbeigh on Saturday.
“It is impossible to put into words the sense of sorrow and loss felt by all involved, so please give them time to grieve. RIP Jack.”
Suzanne Eade, Managing Director of Horse Racing Ireland said: “Like everyone in the horse racing and pony racing community, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to (Jack’s) parents Henry and Heather, his sisters Mia and Georgia and the extended family on the tragic loss of their beloved Jack.
“Jack was only 13 but he was already incredibly popular in the racing community.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, his fellow pony racers and all those whose lives he touched today during this deafening, devastating tragedy.”
She said Horse Racing Ireland, through the Industry Assistance Scheme, will be “assisting in advising Jack’s fellow pony racers and friends. 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 for the tragic loss of Jack. 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 house at his farm on Sunday.
Additional reporting by PA
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/jack-de-bromhead-dead-tributes-b2160348.html Jack de Bromhead: Parents of 13-year-old jockey pay tribute to son killed in horse racing accident