British horse racing has been hit by tragedy after a talented young jockey was killed in a freak accident while out on a training ride.
Natasha Galpin, 22, was thrown to the ground when the horse she was working for top trainer Iain Jardine suffered a ruptured artery.
Galpin, who was also accomplished in eventing, lost her life in the accident on Tuesday morning at the Hetland Hill Stables in Carrutherstown, Scotland.
The horse also died as a result of the ‘freak’ injury.
Police are now investigating the circumstances of the incident, which has left Jardine – the trainer of two-time Melbourne Cup contender Nakeeta – and the rest of Galpin’s colleagues distraught.
The trainer released a statement expressing the grief and shock experienced by his staff.
“It is with great sadness that the team at Iain Jardine Racing wish to report that we suffered a tragic accident on our grass gallops on Tuesday morning which has resulted in the untimely death of a member of our team, Natasha Galpin, 22, as well as the loss of a horse,” the statement read.
“Sadly, our horse suffered Guttural Pouch Mycosis (a ruptured artery) during work, resulting in the unavoidable and unpredictable accident.
“He was given all the necessary care and treatment required and the owners were immediately informed.
“Our main priority throughout has been Natasha and the rest of our staff, who are distraught at the loss of a colleague and friend but have been extremely supportive of each other.
“As a team here, we are doing our best to get through and cope with this devastating situation.
“Natasha was an experienced and valued full-time member of Team IJR.
“She was an accomplished event rider and ran her own livery yard.
“She worked alongside her boyfriend Olyn.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha’s parents and sisters at this very sad time, and we hope you will join us in respecting their privacy.”
Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: “I know I speak for everyone at the BHA when I say we are truly shocked and devastated about this tragic news.
“While such incidents are extremely rare, there is an element of risk every time a rider sits on any horse and as such we must never take for granted the bravery and commitment of our workforce.
“Our sport relies on their dedication in providing first class care for our horses and we are grateful to them all.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Natasha Galpin and the yard of Iain Jardine.
“We will work with the authorities and provide support to the yard at this difficult time.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.