Night Nurse jockey Paddy Broderick labelled ‘great horseman’ by Peter Easterby

Night Nurse won two Champion Hurdles under Paddy Broderick who has died at the age of 80.
Night Nurse won two Champion Hurdles under Paddy Broderick who has died at the age of 80.
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PETER Easterby has hailed Paddy Broderick as “a great horseman” after the dual Champion Hurdle-winning jockey died at the age of 80.

Broderick – who was born on the day that the Second World War broke out – will forever be associated with Easterby’s legendary hurdler Night Nurse.

Legendary Ryedale trainer Peter Easterby has led the tributes to Paddy Broderick.

Legendary Ryedale trainer Peter Easterby has led the tributes to Paddy Broderick.

He partnered the horse to 18 victories, including Night Nurse’s triumphs in the 1976 and ‘77 Champion Hurdles at the start of a golden era of hurdling.

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However he suffered career-ending injuries when Night Nurse suffered an uncharacteristic fall in Kempton’s Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day in 1977.

It was the end of a 16-year career on this side of the Irish Sea that began with County Durham trainer Arthur Stephenson before Broderick joined Easterby’s Great Habton stables.

Night Nurse won 18 races, including the 1976 and '77 Champion Hurdles, under Paddy Broderick.

Night Nurse won 18 races, including the 1976 and '77 Champion Hurdles, under Paddy Broderick.

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“He was a great horseman,” Easterby told The Yorkshire Post. “He had a gift for race riding. he was a horseman. He had good hands. He did what he thought which was mostly right. Giving instructions to him, it was a waste of breath.

“He was with Arthur Stephenson to start with and lost his balance. He was more or lost shot when he came here.”

Easterby says Broderick had a very good judge of pace that was personified by his rapport with Night Nurse, who made all to win his two Champion Hurdles.

“They were made for each other. I don’t think he could read or write but he knew how to ride,” added the retired trainer. He was a natural horseman, great man. Poor old Paddy.”

Broderick was also aboard Night Nurse in 1977 when he dead-heated with Monksfield, a subsequent two-time winner of the Champion Hurdle, at Aintree on the day that Red Rum won a record third Grand National.

Though the Irish-born jockey only once rode more than 50 winners in the season, he was a familiar figure on the Northern racing circuit and it was apt that his final winner, Netherton, should have come at Wetherby in November 1977.

Broderick also rode Easterby’s Alverton to five victories over hurdles before the horse went on to win the 1979 Cheltenham Gold Cup under Jonjo O’Neill. Other notable winners were 1964 Welsh Grand National hero Rainbow Battle and Pawnbroker in the 1966 Mackeson Gold Cup.

But Broderick said in a later interview: “Night Nurse was the best by a long way. His biggest asset was that he was a brilliant jumper and he’d pick up from outside the wings sometimes.

“When he was spot-on he was a machine and the best Champion Hurdler that’s ever been.”