Leading jockeys pay tributes to fire victims

 

Racing:Leading jockeys Kieren Fallon and Mick Kinane have led the tributes to Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson, the two apprentice riders who lost their lives in a fire today.

Kyne, 18, and fellow apprentice Wilson, 19, perished in the blaze in Norton, near Malton, North Yorkshire. They were having a party at the time.

A local man in his 30s was being questioned by detectives.

Police have not yet confirmed the identities of the two victims, but the teenagers have been missing since the inferno swept through their block in the early hours.

Fallon, who began his British riding career in the north of England, made his return from an 18-month riding suspension on Friday.

The six-times champion jockey said: "It is very sad and my hearts go out to the family, friends and relatives of the poor kids.

"It is something you don't like to see in racing or in any other sport."

Kinane, one of the elder statesman of the weighing room, won Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes aboard the brilliant Sea The Stars.

He said: "I was very, very saddened to hear the news before racing at the sad loss of the two young riders.

"I would like to express by deepest sympathies to their families."

Kyne was apprentice to Malton trainer John Quinn, whose yard is in mourning.

Sean Quinn, the trainer's son and assistant, said in a tribute on Facebook: "Our family will be doing everything we can to help the cause, mate, and we will stay in touch with your family."

Kyne had this season ridden 12 winners for Quinn, who said this morning he would not be releasing a statement until the police have confirmed Kyne's death as one of the two bodies which still remain in the third-floor flat.

The family of Galway-born Kyne said they were devastated and shocked.

His aunt said: "The family are devastated. Jamie was a star."

Of his parents, she added: "They are so proud of him. At the moment they are just devastated and shocked."

Wilson had been due to ride Imperial Sword, owned by her mother, Margaret, at Thirsk yesterday.

The horse was declared a non-runner yesterday morning.

Mrs Wilson, of Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, said yesterday of reports her daughter had been a victim of the blaze: "It hasn't been confirmed. We are waiting to find out."

Kyne's friend and fellow apprentice jockey, Ian Brennan, was also in the third-floor flat and jumped to safety when the fire ripped through the building at 2.15am.

The 20-year-old was released from hospital in the early hours of the morning and went on to ride at Thirsk.

A fourth person in the block - believed to be an apprentice jockey - was also taken to York District Hospital and treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

The bodies of the victims remained in the burned-out building overnight as emergency services worked to make the structure safe enough for them to enter.

They were expected to be removed today.

York racecourse planned to observe a period of silence at its meeting today to remember the two jockeys killed.

A statement from the Yorkshire track read: "As a mark of respect, we will observe a silence in the parade racing before the main race today at 3.45pm, provide black armbands for the jockeys, and fly the main race-day flags at half-mast."