Hunt jockey Campbell Gillies dies aged 21 after holiday accident

National hunt jockey Campbell Gillies has died the day before his 22nd birthday after an accident while on holiday in Corfu.

Gillies partnered Brindisi Breeze to victory in the Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham this year.

The Scotsman, from Haddington, was also associated with Willie Amos-trained Lie Forrit and rode primarily for Perth handler Lucinda Russell.

Gillies, who had over 50 winners for Russell, won 131 races in Britain.

Brindisi Breeze died last month after being hit by a fuel tanker, having bolted from Russell’s yard.

The rider’s close friend, conditional jockey Alexander Voy, tweeted: “I can’t believe it. You only have one best friend and now he’s gone. I’ll never forget you. Love you pal.”

Gillies’ most recent ride was on Sunday at Hexham and he had been enjoying his most successful campaign with 38 winners in 2011-12.

His brother Finlay plays for rugby side Glasgow Warriors, who said in a statement: “The thoughts of everyone at Glasgow Warriors are with Finlay and his family at this terrible time.”

Tributes have been paid from across the racing world. 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.”

Cheltenham racecourse tweeted: “Desperate news that jockey Campbell Gillies has died on holiday. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”