Cheltenham to stage a race in honour of late jockey Lorna Brooke following her tragic death

CHELTENHAM are to run a race in honour of the late jockey Lorna Brooke at Friday evening's meeting.

The amateur rider tragically died aged just 37 on April 19 after suffering serious injuries in a fall at Taunton earlier this month.

Racing was delayed for over an hour while she received treatment on the track after falling from Orchestrated, who is trained by her mum Lady Susan Brooke.

She was airlifted to hospital with spinal injuries and placed in an induced coma before passing away.

The news was followed by and outpouring of grief from jockeys, trainers and racing fans.

And Cheltenham will remember Brooke on Friday's Hunter Chase card, strictly for amateur jockeys, with the 7.45pm named the Lorna Brooke Open Hunters’ Chase.

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Trainer Philip Rowley, who runs Optimised in the four-mile race, was a friend of Brooke's.

He said: “Lorna was a dear friend and rode for me on many occasions.

“I will always be thankful to her for providing me with my first winner under Rules, which was The General Lee in the Chase Meredith Memorial Trophy at Ludlow in 2011.

“Lorna rode The General Lee again at Cheltenham at this fixture and they were unlucky not to win as our horse led over the last before trying to go out for another circuit.

"Lorna managed to get the horse going again and in the end we only went down by three quarters of a length.

“It is just all so, so sad. I would like to thank Cheltenham Racecourse for naming tomorrow’s race in Lorna’s honour – it’s a very touching tribute.”

Ian Renton, regional managing director of The Jockey Club, added: “Tomorrow’s Race Night is the one fixture of the year at Cheltenham purely for amateur riders and it only seemed right to honour Lorna in this way.

“It is sure to be a very emotional occasion as Lorna was such a popular figure and everyone at the racecourse will be united in her memory.”

A celebration of Lorna’s life will also be held on May 24 at Ludlow Racecourse.

It is hoped that Covid-19 restrictions will allow Lorna’s many friends and colleagues from within racing to attend.

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