By Cate McCurry, PA
The parents of 13-year-old Jack de Bromhead, who died following 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 as a “perfect, funny, loving son”.
His death has caused widespread shock among the Irish racing community.
The teenager died in a horse racing accident in Co Kerry on Saturday.
He had been taking part in Glenbeigh horse and pony race at Rossbeigh beach. The racing event was immediately cancelled following the incident.
It is understood the young jockey fell from his horse.
“On September 3rd we said goodbye to our extraordinary, beautiful 13-year-old son, Jack,” his parents said.
“A one-of-a-kind child who touched all our lives in the best way possible – he will be forever present in our lives.
“Always cherished, always loved, frozen in time with a beautiful young soul.
“He was an amazing son who told us he loved us every day – an over-brimming heart of loyalty, empathy, patience, pluck, courage and how he made us laugh.
“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 kind. Our hearts are truly 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 wished.
“Jack has lived so many more years than the 13 – he filled every moment of his days, always busy, forever curious grasping at life and new interests.
“The passion he had for his family and friends extended to all his hobbies and interests – too many to fit into 13 years and certainly too busy to spend more than a minute more than he had to in the classroom.
“It started with his work on the farm, the tractor, the cattle, the ponies and horses. He was a passionate expert on them all by the time he was 10.
“By 11 he was offering expert advice and consultation to his father on training horses as he developed his father’s passion for all aspects of racing.”
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 treasured by him,” they added.
“Jack, you will be with us always at home in your family and friends’ hearts. Always present, always cherished with so many memories from 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, extended family and friends.”
In a statement, gardai said emergency services were called to the scene at Rossbeigh beach on Saturday at about 5.20pm.
Jack received treatment at the scene but was later pronounced dead.
We pass on our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jack de Bromhead who tragically died in Glenbeigh on Saturday.
It’s impossible to put into words the since of grief and loss that is being felt by everyone involved so please give them time to mourn. RIP Jack. pic.twitter.com/kEQ5cntQkM
— PonyRacing.ie (@PonyRacingIRE) September 4, 2022
His body was removed to the morgue at Kerry University Hospital.
Meanwhile, Pony Racing tweeted: “We pass on our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jack de Bromhead who tragically died in Glenbeigh on Saturday.
“It’s impossible to put into words the sense of grief and loss that is being felt by everyone involved so please give them time to mourn. RIP Jack.”
Suzanne Eade, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “Like everybody in the horse racing and pony racing community, I want to offer my deepest condolences to (Jack’s) parents Henry and Heather, his sisters Mia and Georgia, and extended family on 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 during this numbing, devastating tragedy.”
The BHA sends its deepest condolences to the family of Henry de Bromhead following the tragic death of his son Jack.
— British Horseracing Authority (@BHAHorseracing) September 4, 2022
She said Horse Racing Ireland will, through the Industry Assistance Programme, “assist in offering counselling for 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 sympathies 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 cancelled an open day at his yard on Sunday.