Pat Eddery : Horse Racing Jockey
Patrick James John Eddery, better known as Pat Eddery, was born on the 18th of March 1952 in County Kildare. His career as a flat racing jockey got off to a flying start in 1967 and it wasn’t long before this little Irishman started to win some of the country’s major thoroughbred horse races. Pat went on to race for over 35 fantastic years, gaining a reputation for being one of the world’s top jockeys, riding in races across the globe and winning a number of prestigious titles along the way.
During his time spent as a jockey, Pat Eddery rode over 4,600 winners in Great Britain alone. He won the Epsom Derby three times and has garnered the title of Champion Jockey in Britain on eleven different occasions. In this regard he is generally considered to have been the jockey that took over from the legendary Lester Piggott who had also taken the prize from Champion Jockey eleven times. Pat has crossed the finish line first on fourteen different English Classics – races of undisputable fame. For example, in 1985 he won with Pebbles in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and in 1986 he took the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, Paris on Dancing Brave. In 1991 he continued to please the crowds when he won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Sheikh Albadou. Horses seemed relaxed and confident under his skilful guidance and his favourite tactics included switching off horses from the front or rear of the field and ‘waiting’.
Off the field, Pat Eddery was a great ambassador for the sport – charming, friendly and a great conversationalist. He owned his own airplane and he enjoyed a good game of tennis. He retired from racing at the end of the 2003 flat racing season but has not left the industry altogether. In 2005, Eddery was granted a training license and he went on to set up a stable of 40 horses. He has since been working with an excellent team to produce a number of great horses. His first runner as a trainer was the horse Perez who took second place at an all-weather maiden race at Wolverhampton in December 2005. By April 2006, he had his first win with Visionist in a handicap race at Kempton Park. Pat Eddery continues to breed excellent racehorses and to be an outstanding representative for the sport.