Two Tragic Deaths, Brindisi Breeze and Campbell Gillies Rock The Equestrian World

At the beginning of May the champion horse Brindisi Breeze died in a tragic accident and then a little over a month later his jockey Campbell Gillies passed away in an equally heartbreaking incident. These were two hugely promising stars of the future that recently hit the headlines securing their biggest wins of their horseracing careers in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

In the early hours of May 8th 2012, Brindisi Breeze escaped trainer Lucinda Russell’s yard before bolting across a road where he collided with a heating oil tanker and was killed instantly. Brindisi Breeze went to Cheltenham as the 7-1 second-favourite and got the better of his 19 rivals giving Scotland a taste of rare Cheltenham success; their first in ten years. Campbell Gillies, upon hearing the news about the death of Brindisi Breeze, took to the social media site Twitter declaring that he was “absolutely devastated”.
It’s heartbreaking that neither Brindisi Breeze or Campbell Gillies will be able to repeat their famous victory at next year’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on Gold Cup Day, a win that sent the stable of Lucinda Russell wild with joy.

Campbell Gillies passed away shortly after arriving on the Greek holiday Island of Corfu on the Jun 26, 2012 the day before he turned 22. The full detail of this tragedy remains unclear, however the focus centres on the hotel swimming pool, which is now under investigation. Campbell Gillies’ agent, Paul Brierley, released a suitably vague statement which simply said: ‘At the present time, all I can say is there has been an accident.’

Campbell Gillies, who had more than 50 winners for Lucinda Russell, had a successful campaign in 2011-12 with 38 winners and winning a total of 131 races in Britain. He will be sadly missed in the racing community along with Brindisi Breeze and will remain forever in the memories of horse racing fans around the world.

Author: David Khan

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