Tributes have been flooding in following the tragic news that talented jump jockey Campbell Gillies had died in a swimming accident while on holiday in Greece.
Campbell, who was due to celebrate his 22nd birthday tomorrow, died yesterday in Kavos while on a break with Lucinda Russell’s head lad Mark Ellwood, and jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Henry Brooke, and Harry Haynes.
The news has rocked the racing world, and Scottish trainer Lucinda and her assistant trainer Peter Scudamore are among those who have paid tribute to one of the most talented up and coming riders in the business.
Speaking on her website, Lucinda said: “The dreadful news has hit the whole yard. He was a much loved, popular and respected member at Arlary House, and it is so hard to lose part of our ‘family’. Our hearts go out to his mother Lesley, brother and sister Finlay and Rita.
“We are immensely proud of the achievements of Campbell. It was through his innate ability and talent that he reached great heights as a jockey at such an early age. More than that he had a wonderful charm that I believe came across to everyone who met him, and through his media interviews.”
Peter added: “His victory at Cheltenham on Brindisi Breeze was the pinnacle of Campbell’s career; the race epitomised him as a jockey; his belief and confidence and his innate timing. He became one with the horse. This empathy and love of his horses was one of the reasons that he was a truely great jockey.”
Rory McNeill Campbell’s uncle, made the following statement on behalf of Lesley, Finlay and Rita. “The whole family is devastated and trying to come to terms with our loss. Campbell was dearly loved by one and all, and this is shown by the tributes to Campbell. We hope that at this time we can be given the space and time to grieve.”
Paul Brierley, Campbell’s agent said: “Campbell was one of the brightest talents in jumps racing, but to me he was also a very close friend on and off the track. He will be sadly missed. It’s a real tragedy to all connected to him in racing, and I will miss him greatly.”
Meawhile on twitter, racing personalities are also quick to pay their resepects.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy said: “Very sad news about Campbell Gillies a very good jockey but an even better bloke. All our thoughts are with his family RIP.”
Gold Cup-winning jockey Paddy Brennan said: “The worst news you cud possibly hear. Campbell you will be sadly missed by us all. Great jockey & even better bloke #RIP.”
Sam Twiston-Davies said: “R.I.P @campbellgillies class rider and a great person. Will be very much missed.”
Brendan Powell jnr tweeted: “Can’t believe it, RIP @campbellgillies, great rider but also a great person, will be a huge loss.”
His father, trainer Brendan Powell, said: “Really sad news about Campbell Gillies. Thoughts are with his family, friends, Scu and Lucinda.”
Grand National-winning jockey Barry Geraghty said: “Very sad news about Campbell Gillies, a very good rider & a lovely fella. He will be sadly missed. All our thoughts are with his family RIP.”
Trainer Gordon Elliot said: “In complete shock to hear the awful news about Campbell Gillies, my thoughts go to his family and friends.”
While trainer Donald McCain said: “Shocking news about Campbell Gillies, thoughts are with all his family.”