Heartbreak as woman dies before wedding
APPRENTICE jockey Laura Barry has died at the age of 25 - just two days before she was due to get married.
The young rider had been fighting cancer for a long time but was unable to recover after the illness left her paralysed, The Sun reports.
She was due to marry her fiancee Ben Hamilton on Saturday, but sadly passed away on Thursday night.
Her best friend, fellow jockey Gemma Tutty, told the Racing Post: "She was so tremendously brave and fought tenaciously right until the end.
"We made memories together that will last a lifetime and I'm so grateful that racing brought us together. I couldn't be prouder to call her my best friend."
Barry started suffering pain in her leg two years ago and was quickly diagnosed with a rare and dangerous form of cancer that targeted the nerve ducts of the spine and nervous system.
The illness spread quickly and left her paralysed in her left leg, and so aggressive was the strand of cancer that there was no chemotherapy available.
Instead, her family looked at other medicines abroad, but unfortunately there was little that could be done.
Over the course of her illness, The Injured Jockeys Fund paid her medical fees and the family set up a Just Giving page, to which many of her fellow weighing room colleagues donated.
Laura's career in the saddle was only just beginning when she was diagnosed, but she still managed to make a significant mark as an apprentice.
Her best career moments included representing Ireland in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Apprentice Series in San Francisco as well as winning the Prolinx Ladies Silver Championship, an award given for the highest strike rate in a season.
Over the course of her time in the saddle, she rode 18 winners from 193 rides.
Her patron, Richard Fahey, told the Racing Post: "She was a wonderful, wonderful person and she passed away with dignity. She was a super girl, just a super, super girl, and it's so very sad for everyone.
"It's horrendous. There's no good time for anything like that, but it's extremely sad - she was due to get married tomorrow. She's a girl I'm very proud to have known, she was a simply wonderful girl."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.