FOND tributes have been paid to Findon racehorse trainer and former champion jockey Josh Gifford.
Josh, 70, who was best known for training Aldaniti to a Grand National win in 1981, died after a heart attack yesterday morning (Thursday, February 9.)
His son Nick, who runs Downs Stables, in Stable Lane, said: “Dad left home when he was 10 to forge a career with horses, he had his first race at 11.
“He worked in Newmarket at Sam Armstrong’s yard as an apprentice on the flat and had a few big winners. Then he moved to Findon when he was 16 or 17, working with Captain Ryan Price and became champion jockey four times.
“When Ryan built a new yard he sold this one to dad, and here he worked for more than 30 years until I took over in 2002.”
Josh won the 1981 Grand National with Aldaniti ridden by Bob Champion. When the horse was returned to Findon the day after, Josh was greeted by a large crowd of people.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy posted a message on Twitter. He said: “Very sad to hear that Josh Gifford trainer and former champion jockey passed away this morning a great man my thoughts are with his family RIP.”