Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Jockey Hubert Bartley is dead

Published:Thursday | March 9, 2017 | 3:00 AMOrville Clarke
CRIMSON MAGIC, ridden flat out by former champion jockey Hubert 'Chinna' Bartley, wins the closing 1600-metre race for the Louis Hitchins Memorial Cup at Caymanas Park on April 9, 2005 as the 2-1 favourite.

Hubert 'Chinna' Bartley, one of the finest jockeys to ride at Caymanas Park in 40 years, died on Tuesday morning at age 54.

Bartley, who had been ailing recently, made his mark in the early eighties, winning his first of three jockeys' championships in 1983.

He repeated the feat in 1986, rounding off the triple in 1991 when winning the derby for the first time aboard the outstanding filly POORLITTLERICHGRL for the Bucknor family. Bartley won the derby for a second time in 1997 with the Adin Williams-trained MR. LOVER LOVER. As far as the classics are concerned, the jockey with the flat effective ridingstyle will best be remembered for winning the Jamaica St Leger as many as six times.

He also won the 1000 Guineas four times, including a popular win aboard WHO'S THAT GIRL in 1988 for trainer Vin Edwards, his apprentice master and 'father in law'.

Due to recurring weight problems, 'Chinna' was sidelined for long periods in the past 15 years, putting a damper on his career. He actually attempted a comeback on two occasions, the more recent at the backend of 2014. He rode his last winner, ST BRUNO KID in February 1981 for trainer Dalton Comrie in the first race on Saturday, October 25 and disappeared quietly into the shadows with 751career wins from 3,349 rides.

Bartley, who hails from May Pen in Clarendon, started out in racing as a stable lad with trainer Victor Rodriques in the late '70s. He soon took a liking to riding and rode for the first time as an apprentice in October 1980, notching his fist win aboard BEAU VENTURE that year. And his rise was meteoric, as two years later, he was crowned champion for the first time.

Bartley is survived by family and friends, including a son, Ricardo Bartley, who is not only well known in cricketing circles having represented Kingston College as an opening batsman in the Grace Shield, but served as a young assistant to trainer Vin Edwards before leaving to attend school in the United States.