The racing industry was shocked and saddened on Monday when it was announced that British amateur rider Laura Brooke had passed away.
Brooke, aged just 37, had been airlifted to hospital following a fall on Orchestrated, trained by her mother Lady Susan Brooke, at Taunton on 8 April. The amateur jockey was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol due to a suspected spinal injury, but had to be placed in an induced coma last Friday due to complications with her treatment.
The news of her death was issued by the Injured Jockeys Fund on Monday in a statement which read: “It is with deep sadness that we have to share the tragic news that Lorna Brooke passed away yesterday.
“Her family thank everyone for their kindness in the last 10 days, 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-19 restrictions allow.”
Brooke rode 17 winners on the track, and 40 in point-to-points. One of her finest moments came on these shores, when she took the first running of a ladies chase in Britain and Ireland on Moonlone Lane at Fairyhouse (pictured) in 2015.
On Monday, jockeys wore black armbands in memory or Lorna and there was a minute of silence held at each meeting.
The recently retired champion jockey Richard Johnson tweeted: “Still can’t believe the sad new about Lorna Brooke.
“She always had a smile and loved racing. Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”
The Professional Jockeys Association released a statement which read: “This is a devastating reminder of the dangers our brave men and women face and our thoughts and prayers are with Lorna’s family, friends and colleagues.
“Lorna was an incredibly hard working, popular member of the weighing room and whilst her licence was as an amateur jockey, she was a professional in every other sense. We have lost one of our own and she will be sorely missed.”