A legend who will live long in all of our memories
David Jennings on a man woven into the fabric of jump racing
A genius around horses, a character around people – Tommy Carberry was a legendary figure in Irish racing and tales of his triumphs will be reminisced upon time and time again over the next few days. There will be tears, but mainly uncontrollable laughter and that is the way he would have wanted it to be.
For many, the most recent memories of Carberry were the scenes after the 1999 Grand National. Bobbyjo, the previous year's Irish Grand National hero, had been prepared to the minute for the Aintree spectacular and he produced one of the most impressive displays in the world's most famous race.
The ride earned most plaudits. Son Paul was his customary cool self as he switched Bobbyjo out before the last and proceeded to streak away for a ten-length triumph. It was a masterful piece of jockeyship, but the training feat was even more remarkable.
Carberry had managed to get a poor hurdler, who ran in a Down Royal handicap hurdle off 86 the month before his Aintree heroics, to win the Irish and English Grand Nationals in the space of 12 months. That takes some doing.
He sent out Royal Appointment to win the 1983 Kerry National at Listowel and Over The Last landed the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Punchestown festival in 1986. He was still sending out winners as recently as 2013 when Blaze Of Fire won a handicap chase at Killarney in August of that year.
But it was in the saddle where Carberry felt most at home. He was twice the overall champion jockey in Ireland and was the champion jump jockey on four occasions before he retired in the early 1980s.
It was his association with L'Escargot which will be remembered with most fondness, the pair winning back-to-back Cheltenham Gold Cups in 1970 and 1971 before overturning Red Rum in the 1975 Grand National. There had a special bond that was very rarely broken.
Not only did the eyes of Ireland and Britain get to enjoy Carberry but so too did America. He won the Meadowbrook Chase in 1970 and guided Inkslinger to glory in the 1971 Colonial Cup Chase in Camden, South Carolina.
Inkslinger later went on to be trained by Dan Moore and achieved the rare feat of winning two races at the same Cheltenham Festival in 1973, the Champion Chase and the Cathcart Chase. Carberry was on board for both of those.
Carberry rode 16 winners at the Cheltenham Festival between 1962 and 1982, winning Gold Cups on the aforementioned L'Escargot and Ten Up. But he was top-notch on the Flat too and was champion apprentice in 1959. He won the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes at Leopardstown in 1979 on the Vincent O'Brien-trained Fordham.
Four of Carberry's children, Paul, Nina, Philip and Peter, have followed in their father's footsteps and forged successful careers in racing. They learned everything they know from a master horseman who will never be forgotten.