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Friday 15 December 2017

Ex trainer killed by kick from horse in freak accident

'Our mum spent her last moments doing what she loved,' says daughter

Sue Doyle at daughter Tamso's wedding in July 2008
Sue Doyle at daughter Tamso's wedding in July 2008
Trainer Sue Doyle at the Curragh in 1990 with her Tattersalls Breeders Stakes winner Bold Jessie as daughter Tamso looks on

Edel O'Connell

THE daughter of a leading racehorse trainer killed in a freak accident has told how her mother died doing what she loved best.

Retired trainer Sue Doyle (59) died after a horse kicked her in the stomach. Mrs Doyle, the mother of Horse Racing Ireland's public relations manager Tamerisk 'Tamso' Doyle (33), was attending to the animal on Saturday evening when the accident occurred.

The experienced horsewoman, who would have turned 60 on June 17, sustained extensive liver and internal damage and was rushed to James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Dublin but was pronounced dead at 10.10pm that night.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Ms Doyle told of her devastation but said she took some comfort in the fact her mother spent her last moments doing what she loved.

"We're so shocked and saddened by our mother's untimely death," she said.

Adventures

"She had a wonderful day and just watched the Derby with great lifelong friends. She died by horses, to which she had devoted much of her life. She gave my sister Bella and me a wonderful, colourful childhood full of adventures, and had just become the most incredible grandmother to my daughter India.

"Mum was an eclectic, interesting woman, the world will be all the duller without her in it."

Ms Doyle went on to describe her mother as a fashion icon, "famed for her sense of style".

"She was a very spectacular human being and a very colourful individual who was a larger-than-life character," she said.

Mrs Doyle sustained a serious injury as she was leading the thoroughbred in from a field while helping out at a family friend's farm in Co Meath.

The former Trinity student, who had a degree in psychology and a masters in psychotherapy, once worked alongside Princess Anne and trained numerous winners throughout her career.

As a trainer her biggest success came courtesy of a race horse called Bold Jessie, which landed first place the Tattersalls Breeders Stakes in 1990 with a first prize of £281,071 -- the third richest of the year in Ireland. Mrs Doyle's husband Paul, also a horse trainer, died 25 years ago.

"We lost dad in 1986 and mum has been on her own since as she always maintained he was the only man for her," said Tamso.

Mrs Doyle's friend, horse trainer Jessica Harrington, described her as an "incredible woman, a fantastic mother and grandmother".

"She was so excited to become a grandmother and had just recently enjoyed a holiday with her daughter and granddaughter. This was one of those terrible, freak accidents that could have happened to anyone. She will be sadly missed," she said.

Mrs Doyle was also a painter and a published author of a number of children's books'.

The funeral will take place on Thursday.

Irish Independent

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