South Scotland

Rider Natasha Galpin 22, dies after fall at Iain Jardine stables

Natasha Galpin Image copyright John Grossick
Image caption A statement said Natasha Galpin had died as a result of a "tragic accident" at the stables

A 22-year-old woman has died after falling from a horse at a racing stables in Scotland.

Iain Jardine Racing, based in Dumfries and Galloway, said that team member Natasha Galpin had died after the "tragic accident" on Tuesday morning.

It said the "unavoidable and unpredictable accident" had been caused by a horse rupturing an artery.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident at the Hetland Hill yard in Carrutherstown.

In a statement issued via the National Trainers Federation, the trainer said staff at the yard were "distraught at the loss of a colleague and friend" but had been "extremely supportive of each other".

Image copyright Lynne Kirton
Image caption Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at the Carrutherstown yard

"As a team here, we are doing our best to get through and cope with this devastating situation," it said.

"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."

It is understood Ms Galpin was from Laggan in the Highlands.

'Bravery and commitment'

The British Horseracing Authority's chief executive Nick Rust said in a statement: "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 should 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."

The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the incident and was "making initial inquiries".

The horse also died in the accident.

Analysis: By Frank Keogh, BBC Sport

Tragic accidents like this are thankfully rare in racing stables but highlight the risks that riders face every day.

Iain Jardine has a growing reputation in the sport, with a successful young team and this will be a devastating blow to all concerned.

He trained Nakeeta to win the competitive Ebor Handicap at York in 2017 and the horse went on to run twice in Australia's Melbourne Cup - the "race that stops a nation" - including a highly creditable fifth later that year.

The tight-knit racing community, particularly in Scotland, is sure to rally round with support and the yard will continue as best it can for racehorse owners, and in memory of the rider.

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