The racing community was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of North Yorkshire trainer Alan Swinbank yesterday, aged 62.
The dual code trainer began his training career in 2001 and notched up over 800 domestic wins.
Swinbank enjoyed his best moments with £5000 purchase Collier Hill, who won the Irish St Leger, the Hong Kong Vase and the Canadian International at the highest level.
The trainer, based at Western House Stables, began bringing horses through point-to-point in the 70s before taking out his training licence over thirty years later.
When the money was down for a Swinbank runner you could rely on the horse going well. He was a shrewd trainer and never shy of giving his thoughts on the stories that mattered.
National Hunt trainer, Warren Greatrex tweeted: “So sad to hear about the sudden death of Alan Swinbank. Such a character and a real gent. #rip”
Daughter of Paul Nicholls, Megan Nicholls in another tribute said: “Devastated to hear the news of Alan Swinbank passing away. He was always very supportive to me. Thoughts with his family and friends. #RIP”
Swinbank had been around his horses all his life and came from farming stock as a youngster. The late Arthur Stephenson helped him bridge the gap between pointing and fully licensed training.
The atmosphere at the continuing Dante Meeting at York will be sombre today as the Yorkshire racing community comes to terms with the sudden loss.