Reverend Gary McClintock leads the funeral procession.
Reverend Gary McClintock leads the funeral procession. Craig Warhurst

Jockeys make guard of honour at Desiree's funeral

A GUARD of honour made up of jockeys paid their last respects to "Gympie icon" Desiree Gill at her funeral in Gympie yesterday.

More than 700 people filled the Pavilion to say goodbye to our "Queen of the Turf".

Mrs Gill's casket was draped in the 2012 Gympie Cup winner's rug - the win was the highlight of her racing career.

On top of the rug sat her riding helmet, whip and flowers.

Reverend Gary McClintock lead proceedings and told all in attendance the family wanted the funeral to be a celebration of Desiree's life.

Darryl Braithwaite's, The Horses, was played before good friend Matthew Brennan told stories about Mr and Mrs Gill and their love for each other.

Gympie racing identities Merv Welch and Spencer Slatter spoke of Mrs Gill's sense of humour, quick wit and passion for racing.

A slide show celebrating the life of Mrs Gill was projected above her casket while the song, I love you Desiree, was played.

Des O'Keefe from the Australian Jockey's Association spoke on behalf of the nation's 850 jockeys. He said Mrs Gill had left a legacy that her family should be very proud of, now and into the future.

"On behalf of Australia's jockeys, Desire Gill rest in peace, you will never be forgotten."

Mourners paid their respects by placing flowers on the casket before it was carried by family members to the waiting hearse.