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Trainer Vergette dies aged 87.

Byline: Graham Green and Rodney Masters

GEORGE VERGETTE, who enjoyed a long career in racing as a jockey and trainer, ably combining both professions for a time, died on Thursday at his home in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, after a long illness. He was 87, write Graham Green and Rodney Masters.

Vergette rode his first winner, aged 15, on only his second mount and went on to record another 39 as an apprentice, before concentrating on jumping, in which arena he recorded 67 victories.

Outside Britain, he also enjoyed success in the saddle in India, Denmark and Sweden.

Vergette began training in 1944 and, based throughout at Towngate House Farm, Market Deeping, continued until the early 1990s. He sent out 42 Flat winners and 298 over jumps.

His best horses were King Of Diamonds, with whom he landed the Great Yorkshire Chase, and Purple Silk, who he saddled to finish runner-up to Team Spirit in the 1964 Grand National.

Vergette, a life-long member of the Cottesmore Hunt, leaves a widow, Winkie, and daughters Sue, wife of trainer Paul D'Arcy, and Julia 'Tik' Saunders, and sons William and George.

The funeral is at St Guthlac's Church, Market Deeping, on Tuesday, March 11, at 2pm, when a private committal will be followed by a service of thanksgiving. Family flowers only, with donations to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

PATRICIA ROBERTS, wife of former jump jockey Mick Roberts and sister of trainer Richard Hannon, has died at her home in Pewsey, Wiltshire, at the age of 79.

Her family has many close associations to racing, with daughters Sara and Sallyanne married to trainer Stan Moore and jockey Simon Whitworth.

The funeral is on Friday at 2.30pm at Semington Crematorium, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Family flowers only but donations can be made to the Macmillan Cancer Trust.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2008
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