Tributes to Findon racehorse trainer Josh Gifford

Josh Gifford
Josh Gifford

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.”