Irish equestrian legend Paul Darragh has died suddenly at his home in Meath aged 51.

In an international career that spanned a quarter of a century, he joined with Eddie Macken, Con Power and James Kernan in an all-conquering Irish team that captured the public imagination as they won the Aga Khan three years in a row from 1977 to 1979.

A full 20 years after the first of those successes, Darragh was on the team that won the trophy again in 1997, his last major win on an Irish team. Other highlights included wins in the Hickstead Derby and the Dublin Grand Prix.

This afternoon, the Equestrian Federation of Ireland (EFI) said it had learned with great sadness of the death of Paul Darragh.

EFI President Avril Doyle said: "It was a great shock to learn of Paul's untimely death. He will be remembered as one of this country's show jumping greats, for his talent, commitment and professionalism, and his achievements on both the national and international stages stand as his testimony."

"On behalf of the EFI and myself, I would like to extend heartfelt sympathy to his wife Jane, daughters Linda and Amy, his son Andrew, his father Austin, and his extended family."