A TALENTED young jockey yesterday lost his battle for life after a freak fall at a race meeting.
Jack Tyner (19) died in Cork University Hospital (CUH) with his family by his hospital bedside early yesterday morning from a serious head injury he sustained in a heavy fall in a Waterford point-to-point six days earlier.
The young man is the son of noted Irish national hunt trainer Robert Tyner, who operates a successful training facility in Kinsale, Co Cork, with his wife, Mary.
The teenager had been injured at a point-to-point meeting in Dungarvan, Co Waterford last Tuesday.
Mr Tyner had just ridden the horse, Exitnell, to victory in the first race at the meeting, the Mares' Maiden. The win left him just two triumphs behind the leader in the Irish Champion Novice Jockey title race.
However, in the second race he was riding Dusmagic when the horse suffered a heavy fall at the first fence.
Mr Tyner was seriously injured when he was thrown from the horse and the animal then fell on top of him.
He received emergency treatment at the course and was rushed by ambulance to CUH.
He suffered a severe head injury but initially appeared to respond well to treatment, though remaining in a coma.
However, his condition deteriorated over the weekend and he died in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Race officials, trainers, friends and neighbours were yesterday comforting his heartbroken parents, Robert and Mary, at their Kinsale home. The jockey had five sisters.
Neighbour and local councillor Kevin Murphy said he had known Jack Tyner since he was a boy and the entire community was in shock.
"He was a bright, likeable young man with a brilliant future ahead of him in racing. He was just a decent and upright young lad," he said.
"Jack was a very popular young man and people absolutely loved him. He was educated locally and he took his horse racing very seriously," Cllr Murphy added.
The Irish Turf Club (ITC) last night extended its deepest sympathies to the Tyner family over the tragedy. "Jack's death is a tragedy for his family and for everyone associated with racing," said ITC chief executive Denis Egan.
"He had the world at his feet and rightly would have had aspirations to reach the top. It is only when something like this happens that it brings home the risks that all riders take on a daily basis. Our deepest sympathies go to his parents Robert and Mary and all his family," he added.
Jack, who had been licensed since October 2008, had ridden in 120 point-to-points and in 32 races on the track,
He rode his first bumper winner in 2008 and his first point-to-point winner in 2009.
However, he had been in superb form this season and was in contention for Ireland's prestigious Champion Novice Jockey title.
'Point To Point' magazine described him as one of the rising talents in the sport. "(Jack) was a genuine and immediately likeable young man who lived for race riding - he was, in his own way, extremely ambitious and motivated. He worked hard at improving his riding and it soon became obvious that he was developing his own style of riding and it was now becoming very noteworthy and effective," the magazine said in a tribute.
His father, Robert Tyner, is a highly respected breeder and trainer who has enjoyed notable success on the point-to-point and national hunt circuits over recent years.
He trained Spring the Que to the Pierse Hurdle title at Leopardstown in 2007 and has also trained several Cheltenham Festival entries since 2005.
He trained Whatwillwecallher to victory at Limerick last month with his son, Jack, in the saddle.
Richard Forristal: Sport PaGE 59