The principal of Rosegreen National School near Cashel has paid tribute to a former pupil who has become the latest sporting superstar to emerge from Tipperary.
Ballydoyle racehorse trainer Aidan O’Brien and his 19 year-old son Joseph became the first father and son partnership to win the Epsom Derby when Joseph rode the favourite Camelot to a storming victory in last Saturday’s classic.
Their success was acclaimed throughout the racing world and at Rosegreen national school, to where Joseph returned in April to receive a presentation for another great triumph in his fledgling career when he won last year’s Breeders Cup Turf on St. Nicholas Abbey, another horse trained by his father.
School principal John Lalor said that Joseph was a credit to his father and mother Anne Marie.
“He was a diligent worker at his studies and took part in all the sporting activities including hurling, football and swimming. In that regard he was no different to any of the other children.
He also showed great example to his sisters Sarah and Anna and brother Donncha who also attended the school”, said Mr. Lalor.
Joseph’s mother Anne Marie also served a term as chairperson of the school’s parents council.
While he played hurling and football as a child Joseph, unsurprisingly, became interested in horses from an early age and regularly rode out horses at the nearby Ballydoyle stables at 6.30 in the morning before coming to school.
He and his father scored another major success on Saturday, shortly before their Derby win, when St. Nicholas Abbey won the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup.
They were presented with their prizes by Queen Elizabeth II at the beginning of the weekend-long festivities to celebrate her 60 years as monarch.
If a decision is made to run him in the St. Leger in September Camelot would be on course to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to complete the Triple Crown of 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St. Leger.
Nijinsky was also trained at the world famous Ballydoyle stables by the late Vincent O’Brien (no relation).
This season is shaping up to be one of the most successful in trainer Aidan O’Brien’s career, as victory in the St. Leger would complete a clean sweep of all five English Classics.