George O’Bryan, Agent For Five Hall Of Fame Jockeys, Passes At 100

Regarded as one of the best jockey agents in America for decades, George O’Bryan, who turned 100 years of age on Oct. 25, passed away early Thursday afternoon at Arcadia Methodist Hospital, according to his son, Craig O’Bryan.

One of nine children, George Albert O’Bryan was born in Taylorville, Ill., and left home at age 16 for a career in racing, which included a brief stint as a jockey, riding for eventual Hall of Fame conditioners Ben Jones and his son, Jimmy, in the Midwest.

Athletic, hard working and tremendously knowledgeable, O’Bryan went from exercise boy to jockey to jockey agent, representing many jockeys, including five Hall of Fame riders, Johnny Adams, Ralph Neves, Manuel Ycaza, Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Donald Pierce, spanning parts of six decades from the 1940s into the 1990s.

When asked what his secret was for working with so many top jocks, O’Bryan jokingly responded, “You’ve got to keep getting fired!”

In a rough and tumble business that has always required sharp elbows, none were ever any sharper than O’Bryan’s, who was known as an agent who could and would move lesser riders off any horse that he knew his rider would fit.

George O’Bryan (Benoit photo)

When asked years ago if he preferred to wait until the next morning to follow up with the trainer of a well-backed horse that got beat with anything resembling a questionable ride in an important race, O’Bryan responded with a twinkle in his eye:

“No, you go to the man right then, preferably with the owner right there.  If you see a muck-sack ride, you take advantage of it.”

Following his career as an agent, O’Bryan, along with his late wife Mercedes, was also an owner/breeder of note in California.  His biggest achievement in the breeding arena came with the Don B. mare, Don’s Quillo, who was the dam of Megan’s Interco, an earner of $1,062,000.

An avid golfer until about 10 years ago, O’Bryan and his wife were regular race day attendees at Santa Anita long after his retirement as an agent and he and his wife relished reminiscing with the many racing figures they had known throughout his career at Santa Anita’s annual George Woolf Memorial Award functions.

George O’Bryan was predeceased by his wife Mercedes (2016) and is survived by his son Craig, who is currently representing Santa Anita’s leading rider Juan Hernandez, daughter Shannon, grandsons Brandon (agent for apprentice Jessica Pyfer) and Kyle, as well as three great grandchildren.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are no services planned at this time.

The post George O’Bryan, Agent For Five Hall Of Fame Jockeys, Passes At 100 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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