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Tributes paid to ‘wonderful person’ as Aintree chairman dies aged 63

Tributes have been paid to Rose Paterson, the chairman of Aintree Racecourse, who has died at the age of 63.

Mrs Paterson, daughter of the 4th Viscount Ridley, had been married to conservative MP Owen Paterson for 40 years, and was appointed chairman of Aintree in 2014.

She had formerly been a racecourse committee director at the venue since 2005, and was also appointed a steward of the Jockey Club last year.

Mr Paterson said her death had come as a “terrible shock to us all” and described her as a “wonderful, caring wife, mother and grandmother”.

In a statement, The Jockey Club said its team was “greatly saddened” by the news.

Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of the Jockey Club, said: “This is tragic news and our thoughts go out to Rose’s husband Owen and all members of her family.

“Rose was a wonderful person and involved in so many aspects of our sport. She was a skilled chairman at Aintree, a valued member of our board of stewards and headed up our horse welfare group. She also enjoyed participating at grassroots level over many years.”

“We appreciated her contribution very much and my fellow stewards and I looked forward to hearing her sound views on a subject, where she was always sensitive to the best course of action for racing. She will be missed greatly for the person she was,” she added.

Horses were a central part of Mrs Paterson’s life and in 2011 she competed in the Mongol Derby alongside her husband, writing a report on the race for H&H.

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