In memory of Willie Silva, the Champion Jockey

Appreciation



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Beginning a career at the age of 14 is a remarkable turning point in one’s life, where bravery and timeless efforts goes hand-in-hand to excel in a sport which was loved by all Ceylonese in the heydays.


When the term horse racing comes to our mind, there is one special person whose whole life was devoted to this career of horse racing, who is none other than Jockey Willie De Silva, a legendary known as Willie Silva, the champion jockey whose 32nd death anniversary fell on March 27, 2016.


A sportsman and a gentleman par excellence, Willie Silva was the first Ceylonese to ride against the Europeans. As a free-lance rider, he rode in Havelock race course, Colombo, Boossa, Nuwara Eliya and Talduwa, where history records his glorious victories of winning over 1,000 races.


The crowning moment of his career was winning the Governor-General’s Bowl riding on the horse ‘Sudden Choice’ by knocking off the top favourite and champion horse ‘Cotton Hall’ in 1953 in Galle.


He was a loving husband and an adorable father to his only daughter and six sons whom he treasured the most.


His sweet reminiscences will remain in our hearts and will be cherished forever.


– Asheni De Silva


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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