Pat Taaffe and Arkle are acknowledged throughout racing as the greatest combination of horse and rider ever to clear a steeplechase fence. The horse's achievements are without parallel and although he was a natural athlete and brilliant jumper, the part played by Taaffe in enabling Arkle's talent to flourish should not be underestimated. After retiring as a jockey he went on to train one of the few horses who could justifiably be compared with Arkle, the 1974 Gold Cup winner Captain Christy.
Six - Time Irish Champion jump jockey Bobby Coonan had his biggest win in the 1974 King George V1 Chase on Captain Christy. Bobby was associated mainly with the great Paddy Sleator, succeeding Bobby Beasley as first jockey at Grange Con. He rode Sweet Dreams to win the Irish Grand National (1969) as well as three Galway Plates on Royal Day (twice) and O'Leary. Ballywilliam Boy gave his sole victory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Gloucestershire Hurdle (now the Supreme Novices' Hurdle) in 1970. Prominent King was his last big-race success in the Erin Foods Champion Hurdle (now AIG Europe Champion Hurdle) in 1978.
Retired National Hunt Jockey Tommy Carberry was twice overall champion Irish jockey and five times champion national hunt jockey. He rode in his first race in 1958, and was crowned champion apprentice in 1959. In 1975 he rode L'Escargot to victory in the Aintree Grand National when he beat Red Rum who was trying for a third successive victory in the race. When he retired from riding, he started training and with his son Paul Carberry as jockey, he won the 1998 Irish Grand National with BobbyJo.
Charlie Swan 9 Times Champion Jockey Charlie made his name as one of the most talented jump jockeys of his generation, becoming one of the most popular riders of the modern era. He has since hung up his riding boots and is now a successful Trainer in Tipperary.
Ruby Walsh has been a dominant force on both sides of the Irish Sea for many years now. Despite jetting between Ireland and Britain throughout each season, he has managed to be crowned Champion National Hunt Jockey in Ireland on eight occasions.
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