British racing loses John Oaksey
LONDON, England (AFP) — British racing lost one of its most cherished characters on Wednesday with the death at 83 of John Oaksey, aristocrat, jockey, journalist, broadcaster and founder of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).
John Geoffrey Tristram Lawrence, 4th Baron Trevethin, 2nd Baron Oaksey was an accomplished National Hunt jockey, finishing second in the 1963 Grand National on Carrickbeg.
His most prolific season as a rider came five years earlier when he won the Imperial Cup on Flaming East, the Whitbread Gold Cup on Taxidermist and the inaugural Hennessy Gold Cup, then run at Cheltenham, on the same horse.
But it was as a television broadcaster and journalist for The Daily Telegraph that he will be best widely remembered.
He joined ITV in 1969, moving subsequently to Channel 4 where one of his fellow presenters, John McCririck referred to him simply as 'My Noble Lord'.
Last year he enjoyed success as an owner when his home-bred chaser Carruthers won the Hennessy Gold Cup.
His legacy to racing is enormous through the IJF he launched to raise funds for riders left paralysed by falls and who were left to fend for themselves until Oaksey stepped in to set up his charity.
Announcing his passing, Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the IJF, said: "Lord Oaksey passed away at home this morning with his family.
"He started it all at the IJF and obviously he is a great loss for us and the sport.
"He was a fantastic man and we all feel very proud to be part of what he started and to be continuing his work in the future."
Oaksey was educated at Eton, Oxford and Yale. He attended the Nuremberg Trials as a teenager where his father, the jurist Geoffrey Lawrence, was officiating.