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Racing is ‘devastated’ at death of Jessica, 24
THE racing community in North Yorkshire is in mourning following the sudden death of an assistant trainer.
Jessica Bethell, 24, assistant to her father James Bethell at the family-run yard at Coverham, near Middleham, died last Thursday morning.
After riding out twice on Tuesday morning, Miss Bethell went for a lie-down after complaining of feeling under the weather.
She was found unconscious in her bedroom when she later failed to appear for the afternoon session.
Miss Bethell was airlifted to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, but never recovered.
In a statement, her mother Sally Bethell said her daughter had been riding since she was 14-years-old when she started on her pony Pip.
She went on to ride as an amateur, but was plagued by injuries.
Mrs Bethell, who thanked air ambulance and hospital staff for their efforts to save her daughter, said: “This, coupled with her natural ability to judge performance, led her to become assistant trainer alongside her father.
“Her love of all the horses was obvious. She had masses of friends throughout racing, both flat and jumping, too many to mention. She will be so sadly missed by James, myself, and my son Edward.”
Tributes were paid to Miss Bethell.
Middleham trainer, Jedd O’Keefe, said: “It’s an absolute tragedy and the whole of Middleham is going to be completely devastated.
“Our feelings are very much with the whole Bethell family. They have our best wishes.”
Trainer Ben Haslam said Miss Bethell was a good friend.
He added: “It is a very tight-knit community in Middleham and it has come a huge shock to everyone. At such a young age, it is tragic.”
Members of the wider racing world tweeted their best wishes to the family.
Silvestre De Sousa, the 2011 runner-up in the British flat jockeys championship, said: “So very sad to hear about Jess Bethell.
“Thoughts go out to her family."