Jockey Sharron Murgatroyd's funeral held in Newmarket

Sharron Murgatroyd raised money for the Injured Jockeys Fund

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Broadcaster Clare Balding was among those who paid tribute at the funeral of a jockey who was paralysed during a horse race.

Sharron Murgatroyd broke her neck at Bangor in 1991.

An inquest on Wednesday heard the 54-year-old, from Kennett near Newmarket, died of pneumonia last month.

Balding said: "Even in the face of the greatest adversity she would make sure she never complained, but had a smile and got the most out of life."

The inquest heard the fall contributed to her death on 28 March because it left her prone to chest infections.

Clare Balding Clare Balding attended the funeral at Our Lady & St Etheldreda Roman Catholic Church, Newmarket
Sharron Murgatroyd Sharron Murgatroyd rode seven winners on the flat and seven over jumps during her career

After her accident, she wrote four books and raised funds for horse-racing charities including the Injured Jockeys Fund, which she had received support from herself.

'Incredibly generous'

Former champion jockey John Francome said: "She had a real spirit that wasn't remotely dimmed by breaking her neck and ending up in a wheelchair."

Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said: "She was incredibly humble, incredibly generous in terms of fundraising, in writing her books, and she was just an extraordinary lady."

Balding said: "She lived so far beyond what the doctors predicted and made sure that every day she did something special.

"The weird thing is that she emailed me on the morning she had the heart attack and asked for Wind Beneath My Wings to be played for her mother on Mothering Sunday, and I did play it on BBC Radio 2, but by that Sunday she had died.

"She was a great woman and she embodied an awful lot of what is great about racing."

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