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‘A lovely man and gifted rider’: Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell dies aged 34

Tributes have poured in for Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell, who died today (23 June) aged 34.

Liam won the 2009 Grand National aboard the 100-1 Mon Mome, trained by Venetia Williams, on his first ride in the race.

He rode more than 300 winners — on the Flat and National Hunt — in his career in the saddle, with other highlights including a win in the 2013 Cheltenham Festival aboard Carrickboy and the 2015 Grand Sefton at Aintree on Bennys Mist. He was also third in the 2015 Grand National aboard Monbeg Dude.

Liam started his career on the Flat after leaving school, first as apprentice for Amanda Perrett and then for Dandy Nicholls, before switching codes in 2004, when he became conditional to Venetia. Liam took a year out from racing in 2018, returning to race riding in the 2019/20 season, when he rode 10 winners for Alastair Ralph, for whom he also worked as assistant trainer.

A statement from the Injured Jockeys Fund on behalf of Liam’s parents, Mark and Lorraine, and his brother Nathan said: “We are heartbroken that this has happened. We ask kindly that everyone respects our privacy in the coming days so that we can begin to come to terms with our loss.”

Mick Fitzgerald is among many to pay tribute to Liam, remembering him as “a really nice guy and lovely rider”, with Nick Luck paying tribute to “a charming, humble man and a very gifted rider”.

Trainer Olly Murphy said he was“a kind, warm-hearted man who I enjoyed having round Warren Chase for the short spell he spent with us. May his mind now be at peace. Sleep well x.”

Jonjo O’Neill added Liam was “a lovely lad and brilliant jockey”.

“All of our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time,” he added.

Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said the racing community is “united in grief today”.

“We are devastated to hear the tragic news about Liam Treadwell,” he said. “Liam had a fine career in British racing, riding over 300 winners in the 17 years he held a jockey’s licence, obviously none more memorable than his remarkable 100-1 Grand National success on Mon Mome in 2009 — a ride that cemented his place in racing folklore.

“The racing community will be united in grief today, and the thoughts of everyone at the BHA are with Liam’s friends, family and colleagues.”

A spokesman for Racing Welfare added: “We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Liam Treadwell and wish to send our most sincere condolences to his friends and family. If you have been affected and would like to talk to someone, our team are available 24/7 via Racing’s Support Line on 0800 6300 443.”

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