Campbell Gillies: National Hunt jockey


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The Independent Online

Campbell Gillies, who died in an accident on Corfu yesterday, the day before his 22nd birthday, was a Cheltenham Festival winning-jockey who enjoyed arguably his finest moment in the saddle when he partnered Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Festival last March.

Gillies, who was also associated with the Willie Amos-trained Lie Forrit, primarily rode for Lucinda Russell after joining her team in 2007. The rider was on holiday with fellow jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Henry Brooke and Harry Haynes, as well as head lad at his yard Mark Ellwood. He is thought to have died in a swimming pool accident. Gillies is the brother of the Glasgow Warriors hooker Finlay Gillies.

Brindisi Breeze was killed last month when he jumped out of a paddock and was hit by a lorry on a nearby road.

Born in Haddington in East Lothian, Gillies attended the British Racing School. He rode his first winner in the 2007-08 season and had 131 winners under his belt. Last year was his best campaign, with 38 winners. He was in action as recently as last Sunday at Hexham.

Lucinda Russell said: "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."

Peter Scudamore added: "His victory on Brindisi Breeze was the pinnacle of Campbell's 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 he was a truly great jockey."