5 April 2018 was a very sad day for Brian O’Connell and for the Irish race-horsing industry, as he announced that he was retiring from his career as a jockey. An accident caused him a severe injury to his right shoulder on 5 October 2017, when he slid off his horse. He remains hurt in spite of two operations. His chief medical officer strongly advised him to quit the sport for good.
Brian O’Connell made history
A surely tough but courageous decision for a jockey of such fame, with a record of around 250 wins in a number of famous competitions. What was striking during his announcement, however, is his determination to stay in the industry as well as his positive attitude that things could have turned out much worse for him than they actually did.
Taking a look back at his career and his medals, he will surely be remembered for riding a number of significant horses: Dunguib, Don Cossack, Last Instalment, Lieutenant Colonel, Last Instalment, Jack Absolute, Rich Revival, Argocat, Real Steel and Caim Hill, to name the most prominent.
At this point in time, there is no turning back for Brian O’Connell. He did manage to make history for himself and for the sport he adores. But one thing is sure: there will be exciting times ahead, as we see O’Connell back in the industry in some way or another.