Tributes have been paid to trainer Rose Loxton, who died on Friday at the age of 59.
Originally from Kinvarra in Co. Galway, Loxton was best known on these shores for having sent out Caid Du Berlais to run out the wide margin winner of the last two editions of the Champion Hunter Chase at the Punchestown Festival by a combined 49 lengths.
David Maxwell’s Shantou Flyer was to be the final runner for the 2019 leading Hunter Chase trainer, when he finished third to Eugene O’Sullivan’s It Came To Pass in the Foxhunters at last March’s Cheltenham Festival.
It was a fall from one of her point-to-pointers in November 2018 that saw a cancerous cyst on her ovaries found in a resulting CT scan and speaking of her illness in an interview with Horse and Hound
in April, Rose said:
“I had no obvious symptoms really; I put being tired down to working and being middle-aged, and didn’t think anything of my sometimes bloated tummy.
“I had six weeks of chemotherapy before a major operation, where they removed as much as they could. By then, the cancer had spread and was stage four.
“I was confined to a wheelchair for a month. I actually rode Caid Du Berlais a few times while I still had my leg in plaster, just around the roads.”
Having met her husband Sam at the Curragh before moving to the UK 30 years ago, she became an integral member of the team at Paul Nicholls’ stable.
Writing in his blog on Nicholls’ website
, Harry Derham, Assistant Trainer to the Ditcheat operator, paid tribute to Loxton, writing:
“Through the very golden years of Paul’s training career when Kauto Star and Big Buck’s ruled their respective roosts, Rose was an integral part of their stories, in particular that freakishly talented big staying hurdle mate of hers, Buck’s who she probably ended up spending more time with than her loving husband.
“Rose did everything with Buck’s; she travelled with him, rode him, led him up, mucked him out, galloped him and probably gave Ruby a fair idea of what to do on his back too!
“Rose is a person so ingrained in all of our lives at Ditcheat it will be tough coming to terms with the fact she is gone, her quick wit, good fun, sharp temper and incredible love for horses will no longer be enjoyed by us, the people so lucky to have had her in our lives.”
She is survived by her husband Sam, children Martina, Polly and Freddie, and four grandchildren.