Tributes are being paid to Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell, who has died aged 34.
The sportsman, who triumphed at Aintree in 2009 on 100/1 shot Mon Mome, rode more than 300 winners in a lengthy and successful career in the saddle.
His victory in the world's most famous steeplechase 11 years ago happened on his first ride in the race, aboard the Venetia Williams-trained outsider.
Treadwell also tasted Cheltenham Festival glory for the handler with Carrickboy in the 2013 Byrne Group Plate.
More recently, the experienced horseman had become Alistair Ralph's assistant- and all ten of his winners last season came for the Herefordshire trainer, including a hat-trick on chaser Billingsley.
Treadwell, who had returned to race-riding after retiring in 2018, also had an equestrian business offering services such as pre-training.
His last ride came at Hereford on March 16, just days after he competed at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer James Evans, who trained Treadwell's 2017 Norfolk National winner Amiral Collonges, said: "We are shocked and very saddened by the news.
"We had known each other for more than 15 years, he rode numerous winners for us, including Trackmate in a qualifier for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.
"He never missed a beat as a rider and was a lucky jockey for our stable."
TV presenter Clare Balding infamously interviewed Treadwell after his Grand National win and joined dozens of friends paying tributes on social media.
She tweeted: "I am desperately sad to hear of the death of Liam Treadwell. My heart goes out to his family and all his friends.
"He was the loveliest guy with a great sense of humour and I know how much the IJF has supported him in recent years. It is a tragedy to have lost him so young."
Trainer Olly Murphy said: "Terrible hearing the shocking news about Liam Treadwell.
"A kind, warm-hearted man who I enjoyed having round Warren Chase for the short spell he spent with us. May his mind now be at peace, Sleep well x."
Treadwell was a pallbearer at his friend James Banks' funeral in February- and they spent many years competing on racecourses together.
Bennys Mist in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and Aso's Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trial, both in 2015, were two more of his big wins.
Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Nick Rust, said: "We are devastated to hear the tragic news about Liam Treadwell.
"Liam had a fine career in British racing, riding over 300 winners in the 17 years that he held a jockeys' licence, obviously none more more memorable than his remarkable 100-1 Grand National success on Mon Mome in 2009 – a ride that cemented his place in racing folklore.
"The racing community will be united in grief today, and the thoughts of everyone at the BHA are with Liam's friends, family and colleagues."
A West Mercia police spokesman said officers were called to an address in Billingsley near Bridgnorth this morning, following the death of a man in his 30s.
The force added that the death is currently being treated as unexplained, but it is believed there was no third party involvement.
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected] Racing Welfare's support line is also available.
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