Inquest finds Walter Swinburn died after falling from bathroom window

The 55-year-old jockey suffered a fatal head injury after falling approximately 12 feet

Walter Swinburn, one of the most renowned jockeys of his generation, who died as a result of an accident, a coroner has ruled. The 55-year-old suffered a fatal head injury after falling approximately 12 feet from his bathroom window in Belgravia, central London. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Walter Swinburn, one of the most renowned jockeys of his generation, who died as a result of an accident, a coroner has ruled. The 55-year-old suffered a fatal head injury after falling approximately 12 feet from his bathroom window in Belgravia, central London. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

 

Walter Swinburn, one of the most renowned jockeys of his generation and rider of the great Shergar, died as a result of an accident, a coroner has ruled.

The 55-year-old suffered a fatal head injury after falling approximately 12 feet from his bathroom window in Belgravia, central London.

An inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court heard that although Swinburn had epilepsy, it was not possible to establish whether this had contributed to the fall.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe found that Swinburn died as the result of an accident on December 12th last year.

A coroner’s officer said: “She confirmed that he had fallen from his bathroom window. The drop was estimated at about 12 feet, and it was into a courtyard.

“It was confirmed that Mr Swinburn suffered from epilepsy, but whether or not he had an epileptic fit which caused him to fall, was not possible to determine.”

Nicknamed the ‘Choirboy’, Swinburn rode Shergar to a breathtaking success in the 1981 Derby at the age of 19, one of three winners for him in the Epsom Classic alongside Shahrastani (1986) and Lammtarra (1995).

Swinburn will always be remembered for his partnership with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Shergar, but the Shergar story went on to run much deeper than that, with the horse being kidnapped from Ballymany Stud in Ireland on the night of February 8th, 1983.

It is generally accepted the IRA were the culprits, that his abductors were ill-equipped to control a thoroughbred stallion, and that he was killed shortly afterwards. But his remains have never been found.

Swinburn picked up many other big-race successes around the world before his retirement in 2000.

He then took over the training licence from his father-in-law, Peter Harris, in November 2004, sending out over 260 winners from his Hertfordshire base before handing in his licence at the end of October 2011, citing financial reasons.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.