Honour for Gympie jockey Desiree Gill
A MEMORIAL to late Gympie jockey Desiree Gill will be placed in the mounting yard of the Gympie Showgrounds, to commemorate the talented jockey's contribution to racing.
Mrs Gill died following a horror fall at Corbould Park last November, her untimely death shocking and deeply saddening the Gympie community in particular, and the broader horse racing industry.
Gympie Regional Council yesterday approved a request from the Gympie Turf Club to place a marble bust of Mrs Gill on a base in the garden bed immediately next to the Gympie race track in the saddling yard.
It will stand about 180cm tall and commemorate her contribution to the racing industry and particularly to racing in Gympie.
Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said Mrs Gill had dedicated her life to the racing industry.
"She had a great love for horses and was an outstanding horse woman, a talented jockey and above all, a great competitor," Mr Slatter said at the time of her passing.
"I think she showed her dedication and toughness by making numerous comebacks after serious injury and she still competed at the top level. This was demonstrated by her winning South East Queensland Jockey title the last two years.
"She also put a lot of effort into the future of the industry by taking on apprentices and was involved in mentoring a lot of young apprentices over the years.
"She will certainly leave a big hole in racing around this area," Mr Slatter said.
Mr Slatter said Mrs Gill's marble likeness will be the work of internationally-recognised Chatsworth sculptor Dan Davies.
He said it had been funded from a range of sources including the Regional Arts Development Fund, Gympie Turf Club, Sunshine Coast Turf Club, Mrs Gill's husband Barry, and private supporter Ian Read, who had first suggested the idea.
Mayor Ron Dyne said he was not generally in favour of memorials "all over" but Mrs Gill's contribution had been "monumental."
Public Art councillor Rae Gate said Mrs Gill was respected around Queensland and loved by Gympie punters for bringing home so many winners.
"She was very supportive of apprentice jockeys and was involved in their training as well."