Teenager Jack de Bromhead, who lost his life in a freak accident at Glenbeigh Races on at the weekend, was remembered at his funeral Mass this Wednesday as a sports-mad, fun-loving, active and energetic rogue who excelled at everything he turned his had to.
The 13-year-old loved swimming, diving, hunting, farming, driving and tinkering with machinery and he played rugby with Waterpark in his native Waterford as well as hurling and football with Butlerstown.
But his dad, champion racehorse trainer Henry de Bromhead, said it was pony racing that became jack’s real passion in life and, although he was a relatively recent convert to the sport, he enjoyed great success, winning in Caherciveen very recently and also registering a win in Dingle as well as finishing second in the derby.
The congregation heard that Jack was becoming quite an expert and, possibly, a budding horse whisperer, who had an intuitive grasp of equine nature.
Mr de Bromhead said one of the greatest comforts he and his wife, Heather, have had since Jack’s tragic passing last Saturday evening was knowing that their son knew how much they loved him.
“All our kids know how much we love them and we know how much they love us,” he said.
He pleaded to the packed congregation to make sure to tell whoever they love that they love them.
“If something like this happens to you, something so tragic, it’s a great comfort to have done so and if you could take that away with you, we’d really appreciate it,” said Mr de Bromhead who has trained Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup winning horses.
Earlier in the service, Jack’s maternal grandfather, Andrew Moffett, who said he had a wonderful bond with the teenager, recalled the tragedy that occurred on the beach at Rossbeigh at the weekend after they had travelled from their home in Waterford for the pony races in Kerry.
“On the late afternoon of the third of September all our hopes and dreams for our beautiful, charming, charismatic, wonderful Jack were shattered forever in a fateful riding accident in the dark, murky Atlantic waters, washing on to Rossbeigh beach.
“His horse came down, Jack was thrown and, in an instant, the horse delivered a fateful blow to Jack’s head,” he said.
His grandfather said the wonderful 13 years they had with their beloved Jack will never forgotten by the family, friends and colleagues who knew the happiest, most loving child you could ever hope for.
“Jack will live in our hearts and memories forever,” his grandad said.
Symbols of young Jack’s life brought to the altar at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butlerstown, Co Waterford included racing silks, his riding whip, boots and goggles, a hunting horn, a rugby ball, a Ralph Loren short and Nike runners.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin were represented at the funeral by their aides-de camp while one of the celebrants at the Mass was Fr Pat Crean-Lynch, of Ardfert, representing the Diocese of Kerry, who joined chief celebrant Fr Pat Fitzgerald, PP, Butlerstown, Fr John Delaney and Fr Denis Hooper.
Jack is survived by his parents, Henry and Heather, twin sister Mia, younger sister Georgia, grandparents Andrew, Marian, Harry and Sally, aunts and uncles, extended family and friends.
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