Richard Woollacott: Widow Kayley pays tribute to 'wonderful husband'

Richard Woollacott
Richard Woollacott's horse Beer Goggles won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month

The widow of Richard Woollacott has paid tribute to her "best friend" after the trainer's death at the age of 40.

Kayley Woollacott called on people in horse racing to "celebrate" the life of the former point-to-point rider.

His most notable winner - Beer Goggles - will run in his memory at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Kayley said her late husband, who died earlier this week, had "achieved many amazing things despite battling mental health problems for many years".

"I've lost my husband, best friend and the father of our child," she said in a statement.

"Richard was a wonderful husband and father to his three children, as well as a truly talented trainer.

"I am incredibly proud of Richard and, although he may have never felt or admitted it himself, he was hugely successful.

"Beer Goggles will run on Saturday at Cheltenham Racecourse in memory of Richard. While it will be a very emotional day for everybody, it is important that we celebrate all of Richard's hard work and continue with his plan for this special horse."

Beer Goggles will run in the Cleeve Hurdle on Festival Trials Day before a potential appearance at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Police say Woollacott's death is not believed to be suspicious.

Former champion jockeys AP McCoy and Richard Johnson both paid tribute following news of his death.

Woollacott's Devon-based operation produced 60 winners - including two at Grade 2 level - since he started training in 2008.

As a successful point-to-point rider, Woollacott won the Devon & Cornwall Championship on nine occasions and the national title in 2010.

His widow has also set up a fundraising page to aid three charities her husband supported - mental health charity Mind, the Injured Jockeys' Fund and Devon Air Ambulance.

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