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Aidan O'Brien: 'Joe had an unbelievable way with people and horses'

The Ballydoyle master pays tribute to his remarkable father-in law Joe Crowley

Joe Crowley with wife Sarah, daughter Annemarie O'Brien and son in law Aidan
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Joe was an incredibly genuine, hard-working man and we'll all miss him greatly.

He had an unbelievable way with people and horses. First and foremost he was a great family man, and Mrs Crowley and the girls were immersed in racing all the way along. The girls all rode out and rode on the track and Mrs Crowley was always there in the background.

In particular over the past number of years, Mrs Crowley, Breda and his primary carer Owen Connelly looked after him devotedly.

Joe was gifted with horses, in that he was able to work them out both mentally and physically. He was always someone who would think outside the box.

From when I met Annemarie, having been at home and at Jim Bolger's, Joe showed me a totally different way of working with and training horses.

He rode out, he brought the horses racing himself and he would never ask anybody to do anything he wouldn't do himself. He was a unique man in many ways and he was always happy for the spotlight not to be on him.

He had a great knowledge of pedigrees and from very early on he was going to Newmarket buying mares for small money and breeding from them. He had a great eye for a horse and would pick up foals and yearlings for small money that others wouldn't even look at, and they'd turn out to be champions.

He was a very intelligent man who thought deeply about things and always had time for everybody. The people working for him, he always felt there was a job for each of them, that everybody was good at something and he'd give that person the time to find their place.

All the way along he was invaluable to us. When we came to Ballydoyle, he'd be in and out and he watched and commented on everything we were doing. He was a massive source of information and wisdom for us.

Joseph was named after him and they were always very close, and he got great satisfaction out of watching every one of the grandchildren doing what they're doing. They'll miss him terribly but he was a tremendous influence on them.

Read more if you were interested in this:

Legendary patriarch of Irish racing Joe Crowley dies aged 91

Joe Crowley: an unassuming man whose legacy is not reflected in bare statistics

He was a unique man in many ways and he was always happy for the spotlight not to be on him
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