Thursday, 28 June 2012
: Champion rider Tony McCoy has described Campbell Gillies, the jumps jockey who died in swimming accident in Greece on Tuesday, as "easy going and great company".
Gillies, who would have been 22 this week, died after a tragic accident while on holiday in Kavos.
The Scottish-based rider had enjoyed his best season with 38 winners, the highlight being his first Cheltenham Festival success on Brindisi Breeze's success in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
Gillies was holidaying with fellow jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Henry Brooke and Harry Haynes, along with Mark Ellwood, head lad at the Kinross stable of Lucinda Russell to whom he was attached.
"He was definitely going places and he was an important part of an increasingly successful team," McCoy said.
"As a person he was easy going and great company.
"Even if you do not ride you can see the awful irony. You spend all year risking your neck riding horses, you survive relatively unscathed, and then die in a freak accident on holiday.
"It is terribly sad for all his family but it will also be felt very hard in the weighing room, particularly in the north where he spent most of his time.
"When you get news like this it suddenly puts what's important in life into context. Ultimately it is a huge waste of talent."
Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news that Campbell Gillies lost his life in an accident while on holiday in Kavos.
"His outstanding potential will remain unfulfilled."