Lehane dies aged 55

 

The death took place yesterday morning of Ollie Lehane, the owner-breeder of the dual Irish St Leger winner Oscar Schindler. Lehane (55) had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease almost two years ago.

Originally from Athy, Co Kildare, Lehane started his working life as a bank official but left to begin a successful career in the amusement arcade business.

Oscar Schindler was the highlight of Lehane's racing career and illustrated his owner's persistence even before he ran. The widow of the German war hero, made famous in the Steven Spielberg film, was not initially keen on her husband's name being given to a racehorse. Lehane visited her in Argentina and managed to change her mind.

The horse went on to be placed twice in the Arc de Triomphe and win at Royal Ascot in addition to his two Leger successes.

Stephen Craine rode Oscar Schindler in both Leger wins and said yesterday: "Ollie put me up to win two Classics so I will have good memories of him. He was always fun but he was a very thoughtful man as well."