Heart-breaking | 

Tragic Jack de Bromhead was a ‘horse whisperer’ and a ‘beautiful brother’, funeral hears

Mourners gather for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead at The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Butlerstown. Picture: PA© PA

The mass booklet at the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture: Mark Condren

Tractors arrive in a procession ahead of the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture: Mark Condren

Henry de Bromhead, the father of Jack de Bromhead, arrives for the funeral of his son. Picture: PA© PA

The funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown, Co Waterford. Picture: Mark Condren

The coffin of Jack de Bromhead being carried into The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown. Picture: PA© PA

Former top National Hunt jockey, Charlie Swan, centre, at the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture. Mark Condren

Jockey Rachael Blackmore (centre) arriving for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

Jockey Barry Geraghty arrives for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

Members of Henry de Bromhead's staff arrives for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

Seoirse Mulgrew and Michelle DevanePA Media

Jack de Bromhead, the 13-year-old horse rider who tragically died in an accident on Rossbeigh Beach on Saturday, has been described as a “horse whisperer” who flourished with the love of his family.

Jack, son of leading National Hunt trainer Henry and wife Heather, died after he was thrown from his horse during a race on Rossbeigh beach during the Glenbeigh Racing Festival at around 5pm on Saturday.

His funeral mass was taking place today in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown.

Jack’s twin sister Mia said she will miss her brother’s “cheeky smile that made all my friends fall in love with you.”

The mass booklet at the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture: Mark Condren

She added: "Jack, you were the best brother ever, I got so lucky when you were born with me. May you Rest in Peace my beautiful brother.”

A number of symbols were brought to the altar to represent Jack’s “rich and varied” life including a riding whip, saddle, goggles, a rugby ball, Ralph Lauren togs and a hunting horn.

Butlerstown parish priest Fr Pat Fitzgerald said Jack’s funeral was an “occasion that’s heavily laden with grief and sadness".

Fr Fitzgerald said Jack was a “very talented” young man who “lived the dream” and “captured the hearts of many”.

Tractors arrive in a procession ahead of the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture: Mark Condren

“He was a happy, respectful, mannerly, bright young fellow who was lovely to meet. He compressed a tonne of living into his years and there was a real joy in living about him,” he earlier told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

"He revelled in all that was around him, the family in the home, in the yard and in the community.

“He lived the dream in many ways and that’s a consolation I think to his family to know that there was a great bliss about his life.”

Fr Fitzgerald said Jack had a “natural and intuitive understanding of horses” and would even talk “wisely to his father about them”, he added: “He talked like a veteran.”

Henry de Bromhead, the father of Jack de Bromhead, arrives for the funeral of his son. Picture: PA© PA

“It’s amazing the way that Jack’s life has touched people across the land, his life has captured the hearts of many people and his death has really impacted on everybody even strangers," he said.

"There’s been a weight of sorrow on us all since we heard the news on Saturday and it’s a dreadful loss.

“The family took us to the heights of jubilation with their great successes in Cheltenham and Aintree and they lifted us all up in jubilation and now we’re having to go with them into the deepest depths of sorrow and to walk with them and indeed many people are doing just that, there’s great support there.

The funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown, Co Waterford. Picture: Mark Condren

“They’re showing extraordinary composure and dignity in the midst of an unthinkable loss.”

Jack's funeral mass is being held at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown in Co Waterford at noon, followed by a private cremation.

On Sunday afternoon, there was an official notice posted online, followed by a heartfelt note from his grieving family.

It read: “On September 3 we said goodbye to our extraordinary, beautiful 13-year-old son, Jack.

The coffin of Jack de Bromhead being carried into The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown. Picture: PA© PA

“A one-of-a-kind child who touched all our lives in the best way possible – he will be forever present in our lives. Always cherished, always loved, frozen in time with a beautiful young soul. He was an amazing son who told us he loved us every day – an over-brimming heart of loyalty, empathy, patience, pluck, courage and how he made us laugh.

“Not only the perfect, funny, loving son but also an incredible, loving brother to our beautiful daughters, his twin sister Mia and his little sister, Georgia. He always had their back and was fiercely loyal and kind. Our hearts are truly broken.

Former top National Hunt jockey, Charlie Swan, centre, at the funeral mass of Jack de Bromhead. Picture. Mark Condren

“He made so many friends wherever he went and they felt his special, unique and loyal touch on their lives too. We ask that they please celebrate and love him as we know he would have wished.

“Jack has lived so many more years than the 13 – he filled every moment of his days, always busy, forever curious grasping at life and new interests.

“The passion he had for his family and friends extended to all his hobbies and interests – too many to fit into 13 years and certainly too busy to spend more than a minute more than he had to in the classroom.

“It started with his work on the farm, the tractor, the cattle, the ponies and horses. He was a passionate expert on them all by the time he was 10. By 11 he was offering expert advice and consultation to his father on training horses as he developed his fathers passion for all aspects of racing.”

Jockey Rachael Blackmore (centre) arriving for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

His death has caused widespread shock among the Irish racing community.

His parents, Heather and Henry, said he recently started a new school where he made new friends.

“Jack’s friendships were of the deep and loyal kind and treasured by him,” they added.

Jockey Barry Geraghty arrives for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

“Jack, you will be with us always at home in your family and friends’ hearts. Always present, always cherished with so many memories from your packed, extraordinary life.

Members of Henry de Bromhead's staff arrives for the funeral for Jack de Bromhead. Picture: PA© PA

“Deeply loved and missed by your parents, Henry and Heather, your sisters Mia and Georgia, your grandparents Andrew, Marian, Harry and Sally, your aunts and uncles, extended family and friends.”


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