A celebration of Lorna’s life will be held at Ludlow Racecourse during and immediately after racing on Monday 24th May 2021. Sir Alistair and Lady Susan Brooke invite Lorna’s friends and colleagues to join them in a marquee in the Club Enclosure.
Due to COVID-19 regulations all proposed attendees must book in with Ludlow Racecourse on 01584 856221 no later than Monday 17th May 2021. COVID-19 protocols must be observed.
The AJA have sponsored the 3.50pm Amateur Riders Hurdle Race at the meeting in memory of Lorna.
Lorna was blessed with a vivacious, bubbly personality and her smile always lit up the racecourse wherever she went. Many of us are familiar with Lorna’s presence over many years not only on the racecourse but also point-to-pointing which was Lorna’s passion. Based within the Welsh Borders, Lorna travelled far and wide.
Lorna’s first introduction to race riding abroad took place in 2010 when she accepted the AJA invitation to ride in the Anglo/Irish lady jockeys’ challenge at Limerick for Team GB with Lucy Alexander, Alex Dunn, Joanna Mason and Emma Sayer. Lorna was a gallant 2nd to Alex’s winner that day but the return match held at Newton Abbot in 2011 saw Lorna enjoy her first winner over hurdles aboard Dashing Doc for Evan Williams winning by 9 lengths from Ireland’s Aine O’Connor with Rachael Blackmore 3rd.
One of Lorna’s most memorable wins which she saw as a highlight of her career was in 2011 at the North Shropshire point-to-point when one of her reins snapped whilst riding Kalmo Bay in the Ladies Open. Despite this, she continued to ride with only one rein, the other broken rein flapping whilst she jumped several fences before somehow retrieving it and going on to win the race! Quite some achievement and one that displayed what a superb horsewoman she was.
Lorna was selected again by the AJA to represent Great Britain at Fairyhouse in 2015 where Peter Roe’s initiative of the inaugural Ladies’ Chase enabled her to enjoy the biggest win of her career under rules. She enjoyed a great victory for Paul Stafford aboard Moonlone Lane (winning for the first time) with the placed riders being no less than Katie Walsh (2nd), Lizzie Kelly (3rd) and Rachael Blackmore (4th). Lorna teamed up again with the horse in his next run at Musselburgh riding against professionals to enjoy back-to-back wins.
Lorna was the perfect diplomat for racing and could always be relied upon, with her sunny nature and modest disposition. She represented GB in Arabian racing, riding both in Bahrain and Poland in 2015 as part of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Series and enjoyed its finale in Abu Dhabi. She also represented GB alongside Jodie Hughes riding in Mauritius in 2018 and again in 2019 when riding on two separate occasions as part of a team of GB lady riders on the flat in Germany. Her unfailing smile allowed Lorna to make friends wherever she went.
In 2011, following the career ending fall sustained by Champion Amateur Isabel Tompsett at Fakenham, Lorna joined forces with fellow amateur jockey Jane Williams to complete a 907 mile cycle ride from John O’Groats to Lands End in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Incredibly the pair reached their destination in only 8 and a half days with just two punctures and raised an amazing £25,000 in the process.
Lorna’s thirst for racing was unquenchable; she embodied everything there is to love about jump racing. Lorna enjoyed 17 winners under rules over the last 20 years as well as some 40 point-to-point winners, carrying her mother’s orange and brown colours to victory many times. Her loss is very keenly felt in the weighing room and beyond. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and her very many friends. One thing is for certain and that is that Lorna will never be forgotten.
We are absolutely devastated to have to share with you the tragic news of the death of Lorna Brooke. A hugely experienced amateur jockey who loved point-to-pointing as well as regularly riding under rules, Lorna’s loss will be felt far and wide.
We send our very deepest condolences to Lorna’s family as well as to so many friends who mourn. Huge thanks must go to the medics who have cared for Lorna over the past 10 days as well as the support of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
A private funeral will be held and a date for a celebration of Lorna’s life will be announced in the future when covid restrictions allow.
God bless you Lorna. We will never forget you. Rest in Peace. xx
There is just under a week to go before amateur racing returns on Monday next, 29th March, in line with the easing of Government lockdown restrictions.
ALL AMATEUR RIDERS PLEASE READ AND NOTE:
In order to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and safeguard the industry from disruption, all amateur riders are asked to continue to observe the BHA COVID-19 Protocols when returning to the racecourse. Here is a reminder – click on the link below:
Riders are also asked to keep to an absolute minimum time spent on the racecourse both in the weighing and changing rooms as well as in other infection control (Green Zone) areas.
Please do not arrive any earlier at the racecourse than necessary. If arriving early, please stay in your vehicle until it is absolutely essential to enter the weighing room. Also please remember to leave the course as soon as possible after you have finished racing.
It is really important that numbers and time spent on the racecourse is kept to a minimum in an effort to reduce risk and keep everyone safe. Please play your part!Thanks everyone and good luck!
Many thanks to all involved at the BHA and Aintree Racecourse for their assistance working together to ensure that amateur jockeys can look forward to returning to Aintree for the Foxhunters – we cannot wait!
BHA announces changes to race conditions for amateurs hoping to ride in the Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase at Aintree
Category B Amateurs must have ridden in a Chase or Hurdle contest in Britain or Ireland at least once between 1 November 2020 and 5 April 2021 to compete in Aintree Foxhunters’
Additional races scheduled to increase opportunities for those affected
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed an alteration to the conditions of the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase at Aintree on Thursday 8 April 2021 that will restrict eligibility to Category B Amateurs who have ridden in at least one steeple chase or hurdle race under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of Irish NH Committee between 1 November 2020 and 5 April 2021 inclusive.
Amateur riders will be permitted to return to race riding in England in line with the return of amateur sports, set out as part of the UK Government’s plan for the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England in the coming weeks and months. At this stage, this will happen no earlier than Monday 29 March.
The BHA has taken part in discussions with representatives of Aintree Racecourse and the Amateur Jockeys Association, where concerns were raised about the proximity of a potential return of amateur sport and the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase. It has therefore been decided that the new minimum number of rides should be introduced for this year’s race, with an additional race scheduled at each of the following meetings to increase the opportunities available to meet the criteria:
Uttoxeter – 1 April
Carlisle – 3 April
Market Rasen – 4 April
Chepstow – 5 April
The Jockey Club’s Regional Head of Racing – North West and Aintree Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Sulekha Varma, said: “The Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase is one of the pinnacles of the Amateur Jockeys’ season and I am thrilled that we look set to have Amateur Jockeys back on course for the race in 2021.
“We are sympathetic to the challenging year that Amateur Jockeys in Britain have had and, with the considerable hiatus in their normal season of both Point-to-Points and racing under rules, we are keen to ensure that all jockeys are ready to take on the Grand National Fences in April. I hope that all Amateur Jockeys wishing to ride at Aintree will do their best to make use of the additional opportunities provided between 29 March and 5 April.”
Due to the relaxation of government restrictions around grassroots sport participation, the BHA have scheduled an additional three flat races for Amateur Riders throughout April. Race details are as follows:
7th April – Newcastle – 10f 4yo+ Class 4 Handicap (61-80)
15th April – Newcastle – 7f 4yo+ Class 5 Handicap (56-75)
24th April – Doncaster – 8f 4yo+ Class 6 Handicap (46-65)
**Please note – the programmed Amateur riders 12f Handicap at Doncaster on 28th March has reverted to professional jockeys as it falls before the relaxation of restrictions**
Many thanks to BHA Race Planning for their co-operation in making these additions possible.
The Sun newspaper has reported on champion Gina Andrews looking forward to her return to the racecourse following her bad fall at Cheltenham back in December when she broke her cheekbone and eye socket and sustained damage to her liver.
Thankfully Gina is now fully fit and eagerly awaits returning to Aintree for the Foxhunters on Thursday 8th April. Well done Gina on such a great recovery with loads of the season left to enjoy plenty of winners!
FREDDIE TETT was the man to follow at Saturday’s racemeeting at Treviso, as the British amateur jockey rode his first ever jump race double at the northern Italian course.
Whilst the rest of us are counting down the days until British amateur racing is set to restart on 29th March, nothing is stopping Fred who took himself off to take up residency in France just in time before lockdown set in. Having already enjoyed winners in France and Belgium, this afternoon Fred enjoyed his first ever career jump double, this time in Treviso, Italy over hurdles! Many congratulations to Fred on a great achievement
First up was KNAPSACK in the Premio Montebelluna hurdle race over 3000 metres. One of four runners in the race for owner-trainer Paolo Favero, Knapsack started her career in England, where she was unplaced in three races on the flat for trainer Clive Cox. However, Knapsack has adapted well to life over hurdles in Italy, winning over 3500 metres at Pisa last month. The drop down in distance didn’t inconvenience the four year old Nathaniel filly here however, as despite jumping the third last hurdle last of the five runners, Knapsack made smooth headway under Tett in the closing stages, coming home ahead of the Polish-bred pair of Bazajyd and Consensus to give owner-trainer Favero a 1-2-3 in the race.
Tett completed his double aboard another Favero-trained runner, WEST COAST TIME, who prevailed in a thrilling finish to the Premio Sant Artemio, another hurdle race over 3000 metres, where six of the eight runners looked to have chances jumping the final hurdle. However, whereas Knapsack is a regular over hurdles, West Coast Time is more at home running over extreme distances whilst negotiating cross country obstacles, highlighted by his third place finish in a Group 2 cross country chase at Merano over 6000 metres back in September. However, despite running over half that distance here, West Coast Time, formerly trained in Ireland by Joseph O’Brien before joining current connections in November 2019, belied odds of 15.5-1, getting the better of stablemate Padrinho, with the German-bred grey Salem Aleikum back in third.
With the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown announced on Monday including that grass roots sport cannot return until 29th March, the resumption of outdoor grassroots sports for children and adults from the end of March is earlier than many expected. The date dovetails with the return of point-to-points in England which has been announced by the Point-To-Point Authority.
The one big caveat is the three-week gap following the full reopening of schools. The Government will carefully monitor the impact of each stage of its roadmap on Covid-19 transmission rates and will be watching for any significant increases in infections during March.
The BHA would welcome seeing amateur jockeys able to ride again and are currently working with The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, as they have throughout the pandemic, to ensure that this happens as soon as possible.
The Racing Post have reported on the Government’s update on grassroots sports restrictions which are set to last until at least 29th March, resulting in the loss of rides at Cheltenham Festival for all jockeys holding an amateur licence.
As reported by Peter Scargil and Mark Boylan:
Amateur jockeys will not be permitted to ride at this season’s Cheltenham Festival due to the UK government’s restrictions on grassroots sport lasting until March 29. Amateur riders are traditionally part of the fabric of the Cheltenham Festival with three races – the National Hunt Chase, Kim Muir Handicap Chase, and the St James’s Place Hunters’ Chase – reserved solely for them, and the leading amateurs also compete with professionals in the meeting’s other races.
However, amateur and grassroots sports have been suspended in Britain since lockdown began on January 4 and a resumption is earmarked for March 29. As such, the decision is understood to have been taken by the BHA to not allow amateur jockeys to compete at Cheltenham, an elite sports event, this year. It is unclear whether any suspension of amateur riders competing beyond March 29 will be in place, with contests such as the Foxhunters’ Chase at the Grand National meeting reserved for amateurs in normal circumstances.
Ten-time Cheltenham Festival-winning rider Jamie Codd was philosophical about the exclusion, while stating he has no intention to turn professional in order to ride at the meeting. Had Codd been allowed to participate, of the riders on duty only Richard Johnson, Nico de Boinville and Paul Townend would have ridden more festival winners than him. Instead, he is now hoping the ban will be lifted in time for the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree.
“It’s hugely disappointing for the amateurs in the UK and for us qualified riders in Ireland not to be there, but this is a government decision in very difficult circumstances and there was very little we could do,” Codd said. “I was preparing myself for this. I thought we might be in trouble, and I won’t be turning professional but I will be cheering on all the Irish horses from home. There is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel that we might be back for Aintree, so that would be something to look forward to.”
Record-breaking point-to-point rider Derek O’Connor echoed Codd’s hopes for an Aintree return, adding that the absence of amateurs would be felt greatest in the Hunters’ Chase.
Given how important a race like the Hunters’ Chase is to the grassroots network of people in racing, it’s a big loss that amateurs won’t be allowed to ride in it,” he said. “We’re just hopeful we’ll get back in time for Aintree when things should be a little more straightforward.”
Elements of the amateur season have already been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with point-to-points in Britain and Ireland halted as part of the ban on non-elite sports. The UK Point-To-Point Authority confirmed on Tuesday that its meetings would return on March 29, provided the government is in a position to lift the restrictions on non-elite sport.
In Ireland, a return date for point-to-points is still uncertain, with the lockdown in the country remaining until at least April 5, according to Taoiseach Micheal Martin.