Champion apprentice Brian Lee dies at age of 76
Brian Lee, champion apprentice in 1961, has died aged 76.
The son of a Halifax weaver, Lee was apprenticed to Malton trainer Ernie Davey and had his first ride in 1958.
He did not celebrate his first winner until June 3, 1959 on Game Star at Beverley and ended the season with five winners.
He won the Lincoln, when it was run as the Lincolnshire at Lincoln racecourse, on Johns Court in 1961 and wound up that season as champion apprentice with 52 winners.
The best horse he rode was Galivanter for Dick Hern. One of his championship-clinching wins in 1961 came in a Ripon handicap on that subsequent July Cup winner.
The following year he ended with 27 wins, including a hat-trick at Ripon over the August bank holiday.
A northern-based lightweight, Lee landed several big handicaps during the 1960s, including the Liverpool Autumn Cup and Kempton’s Great Jubilee, both on the Eric Cousins-trained Chalk Stream, and back-to-back renewals of the Usher-Vaux Brewery Gold Tankard at Ayr on By Jupiter! and Pluit.
With rides dwindling, Lee rode his last British winner at Hamilton in 1972 before moving to Austria, where he finished his career.
Lee returned to Britain and for more than 30 years looked after show horses owned by Yorkshire businessman and philanthropist Jack Brignall.
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