Pat Smullen was one of the greatest Irish jockeys ever. In a career laden with success, his position as one of the best Irish flat jockeys ever was long established, yet he never felt that he had arrived. Despite being a nine-time champion jockey, there was a humility about him that defined him.
It was this strength of character that got him through when in March 2018, Pat was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. There was never any self-pity. He just dealt with it. More than just dealing with it, he brought it centre stage, raised funds and awareness, and channelled his energies into helping others. He was a champion in all aspects of life, no matter what setbacks were thrown at him. Pat was one of life’s givers, and he majored in giving that most precious of commodities: time. Tragically his own time was cut short far too early in September 2020.
Assisted by Donn McClean and completed by Pat’s wife Frances, Champion is his story.
Pat Smullen rode over 1,900 winners throughout his remarkable career. He was champion jockey nine times. He won every major race on the Irish flat-racing calendar and was prolific on the international stage too. He is survived by his wife, Frances, and his three children, Hannah, Paddy and Sarah.
Donn McClean assisted in writing AP McCoy – My Autobiography, Moscow Flyer with trainer Jessica Harrington, and Riding the Storm with Timmy Murphy.