Leading young jockey killed in accident while on Corfu holiday

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The family of a young jockey killed in an accident while on holiday told yesterday of their devastation at his death.

Campbell Gillies died in Kavos on the Greek island of Corfu, the day before his 22nd birthday.

The Cheltenham-winning rider was on holiday with fellow jockeys Nathan Moscrop, Henry Brooke and Harry Haynes, as well as head lad at his yard Mark Ellwood.

He is thought to have died in a swimming pool accident.

Gillies is the brother of Glasgow Warriors rugby team hooker Finlay Gillies.

His uncle, Rory McNeill, said: “The whole family is devastated and trying to come to terms with our loss. Campbell was dearly loved by one and all, and this is shown by the tributes.”

Gillies rode Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. The horse was killed last month when he jumped out of a paddock and was hit by a lorry on a nearby road.

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

She said: “We are immensely proud of the achievements of Campbell. It was through his innate ability and talent that he reached great heights as a jockey at such an early age. More than that, he had a wonderful charm that I believe came across to everyone who met him and through his media interviews.”

Assistant trainer Peter Scudamore said: “His victory at Cheltenham on Brindisi Breeze was the pinnacle of Campbell’s career; the race epitomised him as a jockey, his belief and confidence and his innate timing. He became one with the horse. This empathy and love of his horses was one of the reasons that he was a truly great jockey.”

He rode his first winner in the 2007-8 season and had 131 winners under his belt.