Champion send-off for promising young jockey
Teenage jockey Jamie Kyne was given a champion send-off yesterday.
The 18-year-old apprentice died with young Scottish rider, Jan Wilson in a suspected arson attack at the block of flats in which they were living in North Yorkshire on September 5 last.
Hundreds packed Our Lady of Knock Church in Lackagh, Galway, to bid farewell to the emerging star who was regarded as a future champion of the turf.
As police in Yorkshire continued their investigations into the blaze, Fr Seamus Nohilly spoke of the shock and deep sadness felt by everyone in the community at the tragic news of his death.
It had been a particularly difficult two weeks for his parents, Gerry and Madeleine, and his brothers and sister, Fr Nohilly said.
Children from his former national school at Cregmore sang as gifts symbolising Jamie's life were taken to the altar. They included his jockey's whip, the jersey of his school hurling team and boxing gloves.
Jamie had won an All Ireland title in youth boxing, but had told his father immediately afterwards that he wanted to be a jockey. In his homily, retired Parish Priest of Lackagh, Fr John D Flannery said that he was well on his way to achieving his ambition until his life had had come to such a tragic end and "a light was snuffed out".
The congregation was addressed at the end of the Funeral Mass by James Hetherton, a racehorse trainer and owner who had introduced Jamie to one of Britain top trainers, John Quinn, just 15 months ago. Jamie was apprenticed to the Quinn stable at the time of his death.
Mr Hetherton said he had really known Jamie for just 15 months, but was in no doubt that he was born to be a champion. "He was an immense credit to himself and his family", said Mr Hetherton.
Mr Hetherton added: "Yes Jamie, you were right. You were a champion -- a champion of life".
Afterwards, children from Cregmore National School and the local Turloughmore Hurling Club formed guards of honour as the cortege left the church grounds.
At the head of the procession, a group of young local children, all decked out in racing silks and carrying jockeys' whips, led the way.
Burial took place at Lackagh Cemetery.