This afternoon was happily spent at a run-of-the-mill fixture at Newbury. Not a huge crowd, and not the nicest of weather. But it was typical of midweek jump racing – hopeful owners, knowledgeable (possibly in hindsight) punters, and trainers, jockeys and handlers going about their work. It was the probably the same at Plumpton.
As with all forms of the sport, there was risk involved.
For trainer Gary Moore it was celebration one minute as Ar Mist won the opener but despair the next when the promising Le Precieux looked to be heading to victory only to suffer a fatal injury after she’d jumped the third from home.
There will be an empty stall at Moore’s Sussex stables tonight.
But on the journey home from Newbury the devastating news came through that yesterday a work rider had been killed in a freak accident on Ian Jardine’s gallops.
Natasha Galpin, 22, died from multiple injuries when a horse she was riding suffered a ruptured artery.
Little we can say will console her family, friends and colleagues on their tragic loss.
But we hope her life, curtailed at such young age, was fulfilled by many things including her involvement with horses.
We, who derive pleasure from watching horses race, become used to the risk people take in riding racehorses on the track. We see only too regularly the perils which jockeys face and the injuries they incur.
But behind the scenes, on the gallops, the risks can be just as great.
Today we learnt that that was the case for Natasha Galpin.
Those who knew her will miss her beyond belief. Those of us who love racing will be immensely saddened that they are now grieving for her loss.