Heroic former jockey Ray Cochrane has been awarded a top bravery award
Former jockey Ray Cochrane received a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery yesterday in recognition of the courage he showed when helping Frankie Dettori escape a plane crash at Newmarket in June 2002.
Ray said he was “humbled” to receive the award, which is the equivalent of the Military Cross. The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Belstead presented the commendation in a ceremony at the Newmarket Jockey Club.
Winner of the 1988 Derby on Kahyasi, Ray denied saving his fellow jockey’s life, claiming he only did what he could at the time.
The light aircraft crashed shortly after take-off as the two jockeys were leaving Newmarket to ride at Goodwood.
Ray dragged Frankie away from the wreckage before returning to try and rescue Patrick Mackey, the 52-year-old pilot , who died when the plane caught fire.
Both jockeys suffered multiple injuries in the crash and spent several days in hospital.
Frankie has since made a full recovery from injuries received in the crash and is enjoying success back in the saddle.
Ray Cochrane, 44, retired from racing in 2000 after suffering a back injury, which doctors warned could put him in a wheelchair if he took another fall.