Racing: Jumping mourns

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The Independent Online
THE National Hunt weighing room should have reconvened in buoyant mood at Bangor-on-Dee on Friday, as last year's championship titans, Richard Dunwoody and Adrian Maguire, began their work early. But there will be no levity, no jokes, following the loss of inmates past and present in an accident which claimed the lives of Ridley Lamb and Alan Merrigan yesterday, writes Richard Edmondson.

Both men, who perished in a harbour incident at Seahouses in Northumberland, will be remembered for their connection with the late Arthur Stephenson's Crawleas stable near Bishop Auckland.

Lamb, 39, was part of the yard's greatest day when he piloted The Thinker to Gold Cup victory at a snow-covered Cheltenham in 1987. 'He was a horseman, not just a jockey,' said the former Hexham trainer George Fairbairn, for whom Lamb rode a Festival double in 1979.

He had won the Scottish National on Sebastian V in 1977, whom he rode into second place in the following year's Grand National.

Merrigan, 30, also rode The Thinker, as well Stephenson's other good horses Blazing Walker and Durham Edition. Dreadful injuries, including a broken skull and pelvis, limited him to a career total of 95 winners.

Accident report, page 3,

obituaries, page 12

Lochsong aims

to dispel doubts