Pat Taaffe

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Pat Taaffe
Full namePatrick Taaffe
OccupationJockey, Trainer
Born(1930-03-12)12 March 1930
Rathcoole, County Dublin
Died7 July 1992(1992-07-07) (aged 62)
ChildrenTom Taaffe
Major racing wins
Riding Career:-
Grand National (1955, 1972)
Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964, 1965, 1966)
Irish Grand National (1954, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1966)
King George VI Chase (1965)
Hennessy Gold Cup (1964, 1965)
Whitbread Gold Cup (1965)

Training Career:-
Irish Sweeps Hurdle (1972)
Scottish Champion Hurdle (1973)
King George VI Chase (1974, 1975)
Cheltenham Gold Cup (1974)
Significant horses
Captain Christy
Fort Leney
Gay Trip
Quare Times
Royal Approach

Patrick "Pat" Taaffe (1930, Dublin - 7 July 1992, Dublin) was an Irish National Hunt jockey who famously rode Arkle to win three Cheltenham Gold Cups between 1964 and 1966.

Arkle and Taaffe, the pair who dominated National Hunt racing in the mid-sixties, won the Irish Grand National, the King George VI Chase, 2 Hennessy Gold Cups, 3 Cheltenham Gold Cups and the Whitbread Cup.

Taaffe was also a capable winner without the help of Arkle, he also won a fourth Gold Cup with Fort Leney (1968), 2 Grand Nationals and recorded 6 Irish Nationals (1954 Royal Approach, 1955 Umm, 1959 Zonda, 1961 Fortria, 1964 Arkle, 1966 Flyingbolt).

Pat Taaffe also won the 1970 Grand National in Aintree, Liverpool on the Fred Rimell trained 15-1 shot, Gay Trip, 20 lengths clear of his nearest pursuer.[1] After retiring as a jockey, Taaffe went on to train Captain Christy, 1974 Gold Cup winner. Although a brilliant horseman, the business side of training did not come naturally to him and his training career did not flourish.[2]

He died in 1992 in Dublin Hospital, aged just 62, of a heart condition, having previously undergone only the third heart transplant operation in Ireland (in 1989).[2]


  1. ^ Peters, Stewart (2005). The Grand National: The History of the Aintree Spectacular. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 9780752435473.
  2. ^ a b Colley, Declan (2010). When Bobby Met Christy. Cork: Collins Press. ISBN 9781848890398.