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06th May 2024

Former Grand National jockey Michael Byrne dies aged 36

Joseph Loftus

Awful news just in.

Former Grand National jockey Michael Byrne has died at the age of 36.

The Irish rider, who competed in the Grand National and numerous races at Cheltenham throughout his career, died on Saturday.

Byrne, who was perhaps best-known for his successful spell riding under Tim Vaughan, had 96 winners to his name with 61 recorded on Vaughan-trained horses.

Byrne retired from horse racing in 2016, citing financial issues, and returned to Tipperary where he prepared horses for sales, reports the Racing Post.

Mourning his death, Tim Vaughan said: “It is so sad and I am devastated for Michael’s family and being mourned by many in the racing community.

“He was a lovely person – reliable, honest and loyal. He started his career in Peter Bowen’s stable and worked for us for about five years.

“Dicky (Richard) Johnson was our main jockey at the time and Michael was conditional, he rode out his claim here. We enjoyed lots of success together and got on famously well.”

Former Grand National jockey Michael Byrne dies aged 36.

Some of Byrne’s most memorable career highs came at Aintree as he rode Big Time Billy to victory there in 2010 and then rode Golan Way in the 2014 Grand National.

His uncle, Pat Doyle, from the famed Suirview Stables academy, said: “Michael was very successful as a jockey and was a brilliant horseman and it’s very, very sad.

“He was a great guy who was involved in horses and into his football. He had three brothers and two sisters and all the family are very close. He was a wonderful young man with a wonderful family around him and he’ll be very sadly missed.”

At the time of writing Byrne’s cause of death has not been confirmed.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

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