Local Jockey Desiree Gill honoured around the country
JOCKEYS around the country have worn black arm bands in honour of Gympie hoop Desiree Gill and races will be raced in her name today.
Mrs Gill, who celebrated her 45th birthday just before her Gympie Cup win this year, was thrown from her mount Celtic Ambition at Corbould Park, Caloundra, last Saturday.
She was taken to Nambour Hospital with bleeding on the brain and placed in an induced coma before passing away early the next day.
Fittingly her funeral will be held at her second home, the Gympie racecourse on Monday at 10.30am.
Gympie racing commentator Barry Fitzhenry said many races were being named in her honour and he hoped some sort of memorial would be installed at the Gympie racecourse to mark as a reminder of her achievements on and off the track.
"In Melbourne the listed Merson Cooper Stakes has been renamed the Desiree Gill tribute Stakes," Mr Fitzhenry said.
Today's Roma Cup will be named the XXXX Gold Desiree Gill Memorial Cup and on Wednesday the Australian Turf Club at Warwick Farm in Sydney named their first race the Vale Desiree Gill Handicap.
Racing Queensland has set up a new fund in honour of Mrs Gill.
Racing Queensland put in $20,000 which was the prize money left over from the abandoned races at Corbould Park after Mrs Gill's accident. Mrs Gill's family will decide how the funds are to be spent.
Racing Queensland chief executive officer Darren Condon said one option was for the fund to be ongoing honouring the memory of Mrs Gill while at the same time helping the victims of similar tragedies.
The tributes show just how much Mrs Gill was respected in the racing community.
Desiree Gill fund
Donations can be made to the Desiree Gill Fund via direct debit using the details:
The Desiree Gill Fund
Account Number: 39-452-7218