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Barry Brogan relinquishes licence

KUALA LUMPUR:  Jul 24, 2015

James Barry Brogan, 68, who held on to his trainer's licence despite not saddling a single runner this year, has finally relinquishes his licence yesterday.

Brogan came to Malaysia in 2001 and quickly established himself as a leading trainer, winning the trainer’s title in the following year with 46 winners.

Brogan, a leading amateur jumps rider in his native Ireland, made his name in Britain where he finished runner-up to Graham Thorner in the 1970-71 jockeys’ championship. He rode MOIDORE’S TOKEN to finish second to RED ALLIGATOR in the Grand National in 1968.

He also won the 1979 Scottish Grand National riding THE SPANIARD and enjoyed a notable success on THE DIKLER in the King George Vl Chase at Kempton and was also placed twice on the same horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Success in the saddle was cut short by alcoholicism and he rode his final winner in 1977.

With his racing days behind him, Brogan returned to the bottle. In his autobiography he admitted to begging on the streets, compulsive gambling and taking money to help fix races.

After several jail sentences, he miraculously turned his life around and in 1984, Brogan headed off to Australia where he rode track work and eventually began to train.

In Malaysia, Brogan rode many of his horses at track work and until disaster struck in 2004.

"One morning at Ipoh racecourse I was on an old horse called NARCISSUS, who I loved. We’d cantered one lap on the sand when he suddenly had a massive heart attack and died. I went out over his neck and fractured my spinal cord in two places. I could feel my head, but not my body, and I couldn’t talk. I spent the next year - six months in intensive care - flat on my back in hospital looking at the ceiling."

Brogan eventually regained feeling in 50 per cent of his body and continued to train with the help of his wife Robyn until last year.


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