The Ulster and Irish horse racing and breeding fraternity were deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the death of Joe Magee. Based at Strangford, Joe had trained and bred racehorses at his Ballywooden Stud for several decades and was known to everyone within the horse racing industry.
Joe was a regular with runners at local racecourses and point to points while travelling to bloodstock sales at Fairyhouse, Goffs and Doncaster over the years, both as a buyer and vendor while also representing local breeders at the various sales.
Joe Magee was a friend to all – any problem, help, assistance or advice regarding horses, Joe always was there to help with his usual reply "Not A Bother – That's OK ." In recent seasons, Joe was able to combine and enjoy success with his amateur rider son, Stephen, in Ulster point to points. The Joker was a very high-class horse bought, produced and trained by Joe Magee to win seven races in recent years including bumpers at his local track at Downpatrick prior to endorsing his ability in an Ayr bumper.
However, Joe was happier training horses of a lesser value for the "craic" and a day out. He always brightened a bad day at the races or the sales and if he could help finding a buyer for an unsold horse at the sales he would readily help anyone out at the sales venues. Joe Magee was an excellent judge of the thoroughbred and his opinion respected, resulting in many Ulster owners and breeders placing their faith and hopes and giving Joe the job of buying on their behalf.
He will be very sadly missed by his very many friends throughout Ireland and condolences are offered to his wife, Rachael, daughter, Joanna and son, Stephen and the extended family circle. The funeral takes place tomorrow [Friday] from his home and 12 noon at St Malachy's Church, Bishopscourt Road, Kilclief. (S O'D)