Updated on 11/10/2015 4:34PM

Pat Eddery dead at 63


Pat Eddery, one Europe's greatest jockeys, passed away Tuesday at the age of 63. He had been in ill health recently.

Eddery was an 11-time champion jockey in Great Britain and won many of Europe's best races multiple times, including four Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes and three Epsom Derbies. In the United States, he won two Breeders' Cup events, taking the 1985 Turf with a heady ride aboard the talented filly Pebbles and the 1991 Sprint in an upset with Sheikh Albadou. He also won the 1983 Arlington Million with Tolomeo and the 1990 Man o' War at Belmont with Juddmonte Stable's Defensive Play.

Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte was one of Eddery's main benefactors, puttting him on its best horses in the 1980s and 90s, including 1986 Arc winner Dancing Brave, considered one of the greatest horses in European history. “It is extremely sad news," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager at Juddmonte. "Everyone at Juddmonte is very shocked and saddened by it.”

The Irish-born Eddery came from a racing family. His father, Jimmy, was also a champion jockey and his brother Paul was a successful rider in England. Eddery was a leading apprentice and became an immediate success as a journeyman. He won his first Derby with Grundy in 1975 and followed that score at Epsom with Golden Fleece in the 1982 Derby and Quest For Fame in 1990.

Besides Dancing Brave, Eddery also won the Arc with Detroit in 1980, Rainbow Quest upon disqualification in 1985, and Trempolino in 1987. Trempolino went on to finish a close second to Theatrical in that year's Breeders' Cup Turf under Eddery after leading in midstretch.

Eddery won 14 British classics as well as multiple classics in Ireland and France. He retired with 4,633 victories, second only to Sir Gordon Richards among British jockets. He retired from the saddle in 2003 and began to prepare for a second career as a trainer. Eddery owned and lived on a horse farm in Aylesbury in Buckshire County and operated his stable from there. His training career never took flight, however, saddling just one Group 1 winner, Hearts Of Fire, the Gran Criterium winner in 2009.