06/05/2013 2:41PM

Hastings: Trainer Delbert Rycroft dies

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Trainer Delbert Rycroft died from unknown causes either late Sunday evening or early Monday morning. The former jockey was discovered in his hotel room Monday at the North Burnaby Inn by jockey Scott Williams.

Rycroft, 62, began his riding career in Alberta where he won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park when he was an apprentice in 1971. He was well known at Hastings, then called Exhibition Park, for riding tough horses that others riders refused to ride. Between 1976 and 1991 he won over 600 races in Vancouver.

After retiring from riding he maintained a close relationship with his former agent Buzz Burke.

“We were like brothers,” said Burke. “He was definitely the king of the one liners and he had a heart of gold. He was a real cowboy and there was nothing he loved more than riding horses.”

Rycroft was born and still lived in Tee Pee Creek, Alberta. Burke said a memorial service will be held in Tee Pee Creek but wasn’t sure of the date. There will also be a memorial service at Hastings.

He is survived by his sister Joyce Tomshak and his mother, Dorothy Rycroft.