herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Daughters lead tributes as 300 mourners gather for farewell to much loved horse trainer Sue

The racing world said a final farewell to former horse trainer Sue Doyle on a day of tears and touching tributes.

Billionaire John Magnier and renowned trainer Willie Mullins joined around 300 mourners to say goodbye to the "colourful and eccentric" trainer at a service in St Brigid's Cathedral in Kildare yesterday afternoon.

Sue's daughters Tamso and Izabella paid tributes to their mum, who died following a fatal kick from a horse last Saturday, by reading a poem they'd written for her birthday and an emotional elegy.

PR queen Tamso (33) told the packed church that she will remember her mum as a true original and a free spirit. She described her as a scholar, trainer, author, adventurer, children's party organiser and a lover of animals.

"She was colourful and warm and welcoming, and she loved everyone, young and old," she said.

And she joked at how Sue -- whose horse Bold Jessie landed first place in the Tattersalls Breeders Stakes in 1990 -- had once researched acquiring a panther for the household, and "failing that -- a wolf".

Izabella read out a poem, An Ode To Our Mad Mother, which the two girls had co-written for what they thought was their mum's 60th birthday last Thursday. In fact, Sue had tricked them into celebrating it before the real date, which is June 17.

And Izabella was overcome with emotion as she read out the lines: "So here's to you so young at heart, You've been a true inspiration from the start."

Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, former European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy and horse trainer John Ox were also present to pay their respects.

Dr John Marsden, who led the funeral service, said Sue was "very much a free spirit" and she left her family home in Somerset on a pony when she was young, arriving in the Isle of Wight where he sold the pony and got enough money together to sail to Malta with friends.

"She was a colourful, and some might say eccentric, character," he added.

hnews@herald.ie

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