Tributes have been paid across the racing and point-to-pointing worlds to popular trainer Rose Loxton, who died on Friday (14 August) aged 59 following a long illness.
Rose began working for champion trainer Paul Nicholls in 2002 and progressed to head girl, looking after the likes of four-time Stayers’ Hurdle winner Big Buck’s and Kauto Star.
In 2010, she started training point-to-pointers and proved highly successful, saddling 55 winners from 104 runners in points and 23 winners from 47 runners in hunter chases. With the former Paul Nicholls-trained Caid Du Berlais, Rose was victorious in the Champion Hunters Chase at Punchestown in 2018 and 2019. She also trained Shantou Flyer, who finished third in this year’s Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
A bad fall in November 2018 resulted in several badly broken bones and it was during treatment for this that the cancer was revealed. She returned to work at Paul’s Ditcheat yard last autumn, before deciding to concentrate solely on her pointers at the beginning of this year.
Among her achievements, Rose was the champion hunter chase trainer in the 2018/19 season and her commitment to the sport was recognised in 2019 when she was highly commended in the “stable person of the year” category at the Jockey Club awards, The McCoys.
Paul described Rose as a “brilliant horsewoman” in his tribute. He said: “Yesterday, we tragically lost a very special member of team Ditcheat when Rose Loxton was finally beaten by cancer. She leaves behind a loving family and a yard full of people who thought the world of her.”
While Paul’s assistant trainer Harry Derham penned an emotional tribute to her in his blog.
“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,” he wrote.
Rose leaves behind her husband Sam, who was also a big part of the training operation, their children Martina, Polly and Freddie, as well as four grandchildren.
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