THE world of horse racing is in shock following the death of a top jockey and racehorse trainer from a village near Taunton.

Brian Forsey passed away at home in Ash Priors on Friday (April 2), just 15 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 68.

Brian shot to fame as a 16-year-old when he rode two winners at a meeting at Taunton Racecourse.

He initially rode for Bicknoller trainer Elizabeth Kennard.

It was there that he met his future wife, Sue, after she was given a job there.

The couple, who married in their teens, went ton to have two daughters, Liz and Annie, as well as grandson William.

Brian became a freelancer and also rode for Les Kennard and Ian Duncan.

He completed the 1976 Grand National on Colondine in a race won by Rag Trade, with Red Rum placed second.

Two years later he switched to training, competing in national hunt and flat racing.

Brian Forsey the trainer

Brian Forsey the trainer

Sue said: "We were a very small concern. That's what we wanted to be.

"Brian trained lots of winners, but then took a break to do a degree in fine arts and antiques at Plymouth University.

"But he then decided to give horse racing another go.

"He built a new yard and a house himself in Ash Priors. Racing was a kind of addiction."

Sue said Brain, who was the son of a Burnham-on-Sea butcher, was "a gentleman, a very kind man".

She added: "He helped a lot of people along the way.

"He preferred the flat to the jumping because of the injuries and was very compassionate.

"He always made sure his horses had good homes, while he brought a lot of people on too."

Brian had stayed extremely fit and had been riding out up until shortly before Christmas.

His daughter Liz is temporarily taking over the training of the horses while the family decide what to do next.

"We're finding it hard to come to terms with the loss of Brian," said Sue.

"But I'm fortunate to have my daughters near me."

Due to the Covid restrictions, there will be a private funeral.

Donations in memory of Brian if desired came be made to the Injured Jockeys Fund via Quantock Funeral Services website or forwarded to Quantock Funeral Services, 69 Staplegrove Road, Taunton.