• Horse Racing

Jockey Campbell Gillies dies on holiday

ESPN staff
June 26, 2012
Campbell Gillies rode Brindisi Breeze to victory at this year's Cheltenham Festival © PA Photos

National Hunt jockey Campbell Gillies has died while on holiday.

The 21-year-old, who had been in action at Hexham as recently as Sunday, flew out to the Kavos in Corfu where he was involved in an accident.

Tributes have been flooding in on Twitter, with weighing-room colleague Alexander Voy one of many to express their sadness.

He said: "I can't believe it. You only have one best friend and now he's gone. I'll never forget you @campbellgillies, love you pal xxx."

Gillies rode 131 winners under rules in Britain, with over 50 of those coming for the Lucinda Russell yard. He rode 38 winners last season, with a highlight being the victory of Brindisi Breeze in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Lucinda Russell, the trainer of Brindisi Breeze, posted a statement on her website, saying: "We learnt this morning that Campbell died as the result of a swimming accident while in Kavos, Greece. Campbell was on a short holiday with one of our head lads, Mark Ellwood, and jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Henry Brooke, and Harry Haynes.

"This dreadful news has hit the whole yard. He was a much loved, popular and respected member of Arlary 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.

"His victory at Cheltenham on Brindisi Breeze was the pinnacle of his 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 truly great jockey."

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