Ride for Lorna

Jul 24, 2021 | Personal reflections

Please support Kate Mills and her team who take on the challenge
of the North Coast 500 during the first week of August
to raise funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Retraining for Racehorses
in memory of amateur jockey Lorna Brooke.

Please will you support Kate Mills and her team who take on the challenge of the North Coast 500 during the first week of August to raise funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Retraining for Racehorses in memory of amateur jockey Lorna Brooke? As you may have heard, Lorna died on 18th April 2021 after a fall ten days earlier at Taunton Racecourse.

This is a very personal appeal to everyone I know who is involved with horses in any way.

I met Lorna when she was just a few weeks old, and watched her grow up on the farm on the Hereford Wales border. I count her parents, Sue and Al, as my closest friends. I have known them since the mid-’70s and spent many enjoyable days with them, Lorna and their horses and dogs on the farm

It is a privilege to have known her from childhood. I will cherish those memories forever, which makes her loss even more shocking and unbelievable for her family, friends and the racing world.  

She was only 37 when she died and had spent her life around horses and racecourses. She rode over 60 point-to-point winners and seventeen winners under rules, including Moonlone Lane at the Fairyhouse inaugural Ladies Handicap, outriding Rachel Blackmore and other experienced jockeys.

Lorna was a passionate and professional amateur jockey. She and her mother, Sue, worked as a team. Sue trained them; Lorna rode them. They were – and still are – well known and respected around the Herefordshire racing circuits, and far beyond.

I last saw Lorna at Weatherby Races, where her resilience, courage and fortitude showed through as usual. She cheerfully drove all the way to Weatherby in the lorry with Sue’s horse, rode to a place, had a cup of coffee with me afterwards and drove all the way back to Llandrindod as if the whole thing were just a walk in the park. The true amateur.

Some years ago Lorna and a friend raised money for the Injured Jockey’s Fund by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. In a tribute to her, Kate Mills and friends are cycling the challenging North Coast 500 in Scotland during the first week of August, using Lorna’s own cycle along with their own. I will join the team during their ride to support them and to remember Lorna, as will members of her family and friends.

The team are again raising money for the Injured Jockey’s Fund, and also for Retraining for Racecourses, a favourite charity of Lorna’s that looks after retired racehorses. The IJF were brilliant after Lorna’s fall, proving it is a charity worthy of exceptional support well over and above the usual Christmas card sales. 

I have made a substantial contribution to both charities and I am asking you, for whom horses mean so much, to do the same.

Yours with thanks,


Please donate – here’s how!

Go to the team’s JustGiving page at:


You can use this page to donate to either or both charities.

Use the top link for the Injured Jockeys Fund

Use the lower link for Retraining for Racecourses. 

Alternatively, you can donate by phone at these numbers

Injured Jockeys Fund: 01638 662246; Retraining for Racecourses: 01488 648 998.

Please reference ‘Ride for Lorna’ when making telephone donations.

Don’t forget to opt in to Gift Aid if you are eligible, and add a further 20% to your donation


IMPORTANT: Please share this – here’s how!

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The route

31 July 21, Ardgay to Plockton, 97 miles (156km) along the coast to Dingwall, then inland along Glen Carron

1 Aug 21, Plockton to Gairloch, 63 miles (101 km) in the hills around Benn Eighe, then along Lough Maree

2 Aug 21, Gairloch to Ullapool, 57 miles (92 km) around An Teallach and Being Dearg then along Loch Broom

3 Aug 21, Ullapool to Kinlochbervie, 58 miles (93km) around Ben More Assynt to the coast road

4 Aug 21, Kinlochbervie to Melvich, 72 miles (116 km) along the North coast of Scotland past Ben Hope

5 Aug 21, Melvich to Ardgay, 73 miles (117 km) along Strath Halldale and Strath of Kildonan

6 Aug 21, Ardgay to Inverness, 36 miles (58 km) through the Easter Ross hills then over Cromarty Firth


On Facebook

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Lorna had a sign in the stable block which read

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away

Lorna’s own breathtaking moments were many, inspiring and courageous.

May she rest in peace and never be forgotten.

Thank you for your support.


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