Patrick “Pat” Taaffe (1930, Dublin – 7 July 1992, Dublin) was a National Hunt jockey who famously rode Arkle to win three Cheltenham Gold Cups between 1964 and 1966.

Arkle and Taaffe, the pair who dominated National Hunt racing in the mid-sixties, won the Irish Grand National, the King George VI Chase, 2 Hennessy Gold Cups, 3 Cheltenham Gold Cups and the Whitbread Cup.

Taaffe was also a capable winner without the help of Arkle, he also won a fourth Gold Cup with Fort Leney (1968), 2 Grand Nationals and recorded 6 Irish Nationals (1954 Royal Approach, 1955 Umm, 1959 Zonda, 1961 Fortria, 1964 Arkle, 1966 Flyingbolt).

Pat Taaffe also won the 1970 Grand National in Aintree, Liverpool on the Fred Rimell trained 15-1 shot, Gay Trip, 20 lengths clear of his nearest pursuer. After retiring as a jockey, Taaffe went on to train Captain Christy, 1974 Gold Cup winner. Although a brilliant horseman, the business side of training did not come naturally to him and his training career did not flourish.

He died in 1992 in Dublin Hospital, aged just 62, of a heart condition, having previously undergone only the third heart transplant operation in Ireland (in 1989). Source Wikipedia

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