Jockey Campbell Gillies dies in holiday accident

LIE FORRIT Ridden by Campbell Gillies wins at Kelso 4/12/11. Photograph: John Grossick
LIE FORRIT Ridden by Campbell Gillies wins at Kelso 4/12/11. Photograph: John Grossick
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EAST LOTHIAN Jockey Campbell Gillies has died in an accident while on holiday in the Greek resort of Kavos just a day before his 22nd birthday.

Born in Haddington Gillies attended the British Racing School and became a firm favourite among Borders race goers while riding regularly at Kelso Racecourse where one of his most memorable victories took place last December when steering the Willie Amos-trained Lie Forrit to victory.

A promising young jockey, Campbell shot to prominence when he rode Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle on Gold Cup day at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

He primarily rode for handler Lucinda Russell, based in Perth and Kinross, after joining her team in 2007.

Tributes to the young jockey have been posted on Twitter.

Kelso Racecourse tweeted: Such horrendous news, thoughts are with friends and family of Campbell.”

Champion jockey Tony McCoy said: “Very sad news about Campbell Gillies a very good jockey but an even better bloke. All our thoughts are with his family RIP.”

While racing pundit Derek Thompson commented: “This is tragic news about Campbell Gillies. A great guy, a top horseman, to young to go. My thoughts are with his family.”

Campbell’s brother Finlay plays rugby for Glasgow Warriors, and the club said in a statement: “Glasgow Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the sad passing of Campbell Gillies, brother of Warriors hooker Finlay.”