Zoe Davison: Racing trainer dies on same day two of her horses win at Plumpton

Zoe Davison
Zoe Davison was also a former amateur jockey who rode her first winner in 1986, before going on to train over 100 winners

Tributes have been paid to trainer Zoe Davison, who died from cancer on the same day two of her horses claimed wins at Plumpton.

Davison, who had breast cancer for four-and-a-half years, died at her Shovelstrode Racing Stables in Sussex.

Brown Bullet and Mr Jack, both trained at the family's stable, had raced to victory at the Sussex track on Sunday.

Simon Clare, part-owner of Brown Bullet, said: "Zoe was just the most wonderful human being imaginable."

Her husband Andrew Irvine - who she married in 2018 - was by her side, along with family.

He said: "She was the most wonderful, incredible person. I am blessed to have spent the last 24 years of my life with her."

Daughter Gemelle Johnson, who was assistant to her mother, said: "I just feel a bit numb inside because of everything.

"I'm a bit overwhelmed we've had a double for mum. Hopefully we have made her proud. It's surreal. Our team is a family business and we put everything into it. She will be thoroughly missed as she is the glue that holds us together.

"We've had a few winners around here and it is one of our local tracks. It means everything to us as we want to do her proud."

Davison sent out the first of over 100 winners when Sails Legend, with AP McCoy in the saddle, won at Towcester in November 1997.

She enjoyed her best season with 15 winners in the 2017-18 campaign.

Jockey Page Fuller has a long association with the stable and should have ridden Mr Jack but had been stood down from an earlier fall.

She said: "You couldn't have written it any better today. She was just a kind and genuine person who was a real horsewoman. She loved her horses and did her best by them.

"She has been struggling for a long time, but fortunately her strength has rubbed off on everybody else and they showed that by sending out the winners today.

"It has been a great team effort and it is great she has gone out like that. I don't know anybody who would have a bad word to say about her - she was just one of those really nice people."

Ed Arkell, ex-Fontwell clerk of the course and now at nearby West Sussex track Goodwood, said: "Zoe was a huge part of the southern racing circuit. I'm so sorry for her family and she will be very much missed. She was a friendly, happy person who everybody loved.

"As a trainer, she ran a wonderful family operation. There are less of those these days. She supported her local tracks and became a big part of them."

Clare added: "Zoe was the most talented horsewoman imaginable. What she didn't know about horses wasn't worth knowing.

"She is so incredibly well loved and will be desperately missed by everyone who knew her."

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