Lorna Brooke tributes led by AP McCoy as racecourses hold minute’s silence

Racecourses across the country fell silent as jockeys paid tribute to their weighing room colleague Lorna Brooke.

The amateur rider died on Sunday at the age of 37, having bravely fought against her injuries sustained in a fall earlier this month.

A minute's silence was held before the start of UK racing fixtures this afternoon, where jockeys wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

Brooke, who rode 17 winners in her career, was seriously hurt when she came off Orchestrated in a Taunton chase on April 8.

The Injured Jockeys' Fund released the tragic news on Monday that the sportswoman had lost her battle over the weekend.

Their statement read: "It is with deep sadness that we have to share the tragic news that Lorna Brooke passed away yesterday.

"Her family thank everyone for their kindness in the last ten days, particularly the staff at Southmead Hospital who were so professional.

"They will be having a private funeral and will hold a celebration of Lorna's life once Covid-19 restrictions allow."

The 20-times champion jockey AP McCoy led the tributes to the much-loved competitor, who rode in more than 400 races.

"Heartbreakingly sad news. Thoughts and prayers with her family. RIP Lorna," he said.

Paul Nicholls, top UK trainer on 11 occasions, said: "So terribly sad. RIP Lorna."

Broadcaster and Grand National-winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald paid his condolences on Sky Sports Racing.

"Lorna was an amateur, she rode because she loved it and she loved competing. It's a really sad day," he said.

"When racing loses one of it's own, it's tough to swallow."

Brooke was airlifted to hospital after the incident at the third fence of the Pontispool Equine Sports Centre Handicap Chase.

She suffered 'significant' swelling on her brain and been placed in an induced coma on Friday.

A statement from the Professional Jockeys' Association said: "This is a devastating reminder of the dangers our brave men and women face and our thoughts and prayers are with Lorna’s family, friends and colleagues.

"Lorna was an incredibly hard working, popular member of the weighing room and whilst her licence was as an amateur jockey she was a professional in every other sense.

"We have lost one of our own and she will be sorely missed."

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