The racing world was today in mourning following the tragic news that jump jockey Campbell Gillies, one of the brightest young talents in the sport, had been killed while on holiday.
Gillies, 21, was attached to the Scottish yard of Lucinda Russell, for whom he had ridden over 50 winners.
Winner of 131 races under rules in Britain, Gillies enjoyed his best ever campaign in 2011-12 with 38 winners, and had ridden four winners so far this season.
He had ridden as recently as Sunday at Hexham before going on holiday to Kavos, Greece, where the tragedy occurred. yesterday Full details are not yet known.
The Scottish rider was regarded as one of the rising stars in the world of NH racing, and enjoyed the biggest success of his career when partnering Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this year.
That horse got killed in a freak accident back in May, and now his young rider who had such a bright future ahead of him is no longer with us.
I had the pleasure of meeting him, and he was a terrific guy as well as superb horseman.
He always had a smile on his face, and there is little doubt in my mind that he had the abilty to go right to the top.
His ride on Brindisi Breeze will long live in my memory, as he judged the pace to perfection and remained as cool and stylish as ever as the pair powered up the famous Cheltenham hill before returning to raptuorus applause.
Racing has lost a true talent and a great guy and he will be sadly missed by all.