Sweeney was born to an Irish father and Portuguese mother in Shanghai, China, in 1936. At the time of his death, he was training horses and working as the liaison for the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Horseman Brian Sweeney, whose many positions in racing included a stint as executive vice president and general manager of the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, died Nov. 14 of an apparent heart attack at the San Gabriel Country Club in California. He was 64.Sweeney, who was involved in racing for 40 years, trained horses and campaigned several stakes winners, including millionaire Erins Isle in partnership. Sweeney imported Erins Isle from Ireland, and the horse responded by winning five grade I stakes in Southern California in the early 1980s.Sweeney also served as chief operating officer of the California Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and was a director of publicity at Woodbine, Greenwood, and Fort Erie. He also took a turn in racetrack management. In 1983, Thoroughbred Services, the consulting service of which Sweeney was president, was appointed to run Phoenix Park in Ireland.