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Lorna Brooke Dead: Jockey, 37, Dies After Fall at Taunton

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Lorna Brooke Dead: Jockey, 37, Dies After Fall at Taunton

Amateur rider Lorna Brooke has tragically died following a fall earlier this month, it has been announced.

Brooke was riding Orchestrated for her mother, Lady Susan Brooke, when falling at the third fence in the Pontispool Equine Sports Centre Handicap Chase on April 8.

Racing was delayed by more than an hour as she was treated on track, before being transferred into an air ambulance.

The 37-year-old had been placed in an induced coma with "significant" swelling on her brain on Friday.

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A statement issued by the Injured Jockeys Fund on Friday said that Brooke was in a "critical, but stable condition" in intensive care at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, and had been placed in an induced coma due to "various complications" during the week.

However, a further statement released this morning had sadly confirmed that she had died.

Brooke, who rode with a 7lb claim, competed in more than 400 races since 2000
Brooke, who rode with a 7lb claim, competed in more than 400 races since 2000

"It is with deep sadness that we have to share the tragic news that Lorna Brooke passed away yesterday," the statement read.

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"Her family thank everyone for their kindness in the last few weeks, particularly the staff at Southmead Hospital who were so professional.

"They will be having a private funeral and will hold a celebration of Lorna's life once Covid restrictions allow."

Since the sad news broke, tributes have poured in on social media, with leading racing figures including Sir Anthony McCoy and Grand National-winning trainer Henry de Bromhead among those to pay tribute.

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Brooke, 37, who rode as a 7lb-claiming amateur, enjoyed a high-profile success when winning the inaugural Ladies Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Moonlone Lane for Paul Stafford in 2015.

A 25-1 chance, Moonlone Lane had gone winless in a 26-race career up to that point, but Brooke guided him home in front, with Katie Walsh, Lizzie Kelly, Rachael Blackmore and Nina Carberry all trailing behind. Moonlone Lane then won next time out at Musselburgh under Brooke.

"It's tragic news, it really is shocking," Stafford told Sky Sports Racing.

"When she got the fall people were very concerned, we were too and we were saying prayers, but unfortunately this has happened.

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"She was a lovely person, obviously she rode that winner for us and we kept in contact over the years through social media, congratulating each other on social media when each of us had winners. It's shocking it's happened."

Thinking back to the day at Fairyhouse, Stafford said: "He'd never won a race until she rode him that day, she took the bull by the horns, went on and it paid off - she gave him a fantastic ride.

"I'd never met Lorna before that, she was more or less allocated the ride, but I knew she was a capable rider. It worked out and she rode him several times again, winning at Musselburgh.

"She was over the moon that day at Fairyhouse, and her family. I met her mother at Bangor one day and she's lovely too.

"I send my condolences to her family, my heart goes out to them."

Brooke partnered 17 winners in Britain and Ireland since the 2001/02 season, riding largely for her mother, but also teaming up with Shropshire-based John Groucott on a regular basis.

Brooke enjoyed a high-profile success when winning the inaugural Ladies Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Moonlone Lane for Paul Stafford in 2015
Brooke enjoyed a high-profile success when winning the inaugural Ladies Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Moonlone Lane for Paul Stafford in 2015

The British Horseracing Authority's chief executive Julie Harrington said all at the organisation were "deeply saddened" by the loss of the talented member of the weighing room.

"Everybody at the BHA is devastated by this news," she added.

"Lorna was a much-loved member of our sport, in which she and her family are steeped.

"Lorna demonstrated many of the qualities that make British racing so special. She was a proud competitor and somebody who was driven by an abundance of love not only for the sport but for the horses she competed with.

"My thoughts, along with everybody else who loves racing, are with Lorna's family, friends and colleagues at this dreadful time."

Topics: Horse Racing

Robert Mann
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