Apprentice jockeys killed in arson attack

Police arrest local man after two riders die in blaze started during party at block of flats

Tributes have been paid to a rising young star in the racing world who was one of two apprentice jockeys to die when an arson attack gutted a block of flats in Yorkshire.



Irish-born Jamie Kyne, 18, rode his first winner in December in 2007 and this year had notched up 29 victories including the £40,000 sportingbet.com Sprint at York in May, the biggest win of what racing pundits were tipping to be a stellar career.

His family, who run Kiltrogue stud farm in Claregalway, Co Galway, last night confirmed that he had died in the blaze. They released a statement saying they were "so proud of him" and were "devastated" by his death.

The fire started at 2.15am yesterday during a party at the flats in Norton, near Malton, North Yorkshire, and quickly became an inferno.

Also believed dead was apprentice jockey Jan Wilson, 19, who had been due to ride Imperial Sword, owned by her mother Margaret, at Thirsk yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Wilson, of Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, was last night awaiting confirmation of her daughter's death.

North Yorkshire Police have arrested a local man in his thirties who was last night being questioned on suspicion of starting the fire.

Racecourses at Kempton and Thirsk yesterday held a period of silence in remembrance of the pair, and jockeys racing at Stratford wore black armbands.

Trainers and jockeys lined up to pay tribute to Mr Kyne's prodigious talent. Trainer Adrian McGuinness, of Lusk, Co Dublin, called him "the jewel of the north" and said: "He was very good, one of the best young riders about and probably one of the top apprentices in England at the moment. He was a topping young lad."

Mr Kyne, who had been booked to ride at Haydock yesterday afternoon, was "a good rider and had a lovely personality", said Declan Carroll, the trainer who brought him to England to ride on the northern circuit and provided him with his first winner in December 2007.

He said: "I brought Jamie to this country from Galway. I saw him riding at the Kempton Breeze-Ups. I made some inquiries and he then came up to me at the sales and said he wanted to be a jockey. He was a good rider and had a lovely personality."

Mr Kyne was attached to the Yorkshire-based trainer John Quinn, whose National Hunt stable jockey, Dougie Costello, said: "Jamie was such a talent. But not just that: he was a really bright lad and was always smiling. We are a very tight team as a whole, so this has hit us really hard."

Hundreds of people have joined a Facebook group in a tribute to the two dead jockeys. Mr Quinn's son, Sean, wrote of Mr Kyne: "Jeez, you had some talent. Me and Dad were just talking about those horses you won on that no one else could. The yard was silent this morning, which makes a change and shows just how popular you were."

North Yorkshire Police were unable to rule out the possibility that more people had died in the fire because the building, Buckrose Court, had yet to be made safe enough for forensic experts to search it. About 20 people were evacuated from the building, and some were thought to have jumped out of windows and shinned down drainpipes as flames ripped through the building.

Two other people who were in the block at the time, also believed to be apprentice jockeys, were taken to York District Hospital and treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

One, Ian Brennan, 20, was released from hospital in time to ride at Thirsk yesterday. The other man has not been discharged, but was not thought to have life-threatening injuries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy