The most celebrated colours in National Hunt racing were yesterday worn in a poignant tribute to a young jockey who died last Friday at the racing establishment in Co Limerick where he was an apprentice.
Ryan Cusack, who would have turned 18 tomorrow , died instantly when he fell from a tractor and trailer at the Howardstown base of trainer Enda Bolger when clearing storm damaged trees.
Fifteen-year-old John O’Donoghue, wearing the green and gold racing silks of JP McManus, led the funeral cortege on horseback to Abington cemetery Murroe.
Ryan Cusack achieved a personal milestone as a jockey four months ago when he donned the famous McManus colours for the first time at Lemonfield point to point, riding Far and Away trained by Enda Bolger.
More than 1,000 mourners attending the funeral mass at the Holy Rosary Church Murroe were led by Ryan’s parents, Vincent and Martina, and his younger siblings, Barry and Holly.
His uncle and godfather, William Ryan, said his young nephew, the first grandchild in the Cusack and Ryan families, was a talented hurler, playing underage for Limerick and captaining his local Murroe Boher team to an underage county championship in 2011; a fine athlete and handball champion. But his only aim was to become a jockey.
Young members of the Murroe Boher GAA club and students from Newport College formed a guard of honour as the coffin was borne from the church.
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