The racing industry has been shocked by the sudden death of Britain’s most successful female trainer Mary Reveley aged 77.
The former dual-purpose handler, who saddled over 2,000 winners in a pioneering career, died of a suspected heart attack at her family’s North Yorkshire stables on Monday.
“She was walking about the yard and was with Gill Boanas, who is training there now,” Reveley’s son, Keith, told Press Association Sport: .
“She was around the horses, feeding them, and basically collapsed of a suspected heart attack.
“We’re all still in shock, but it’s just typical of her that she was around horses right up to the end.”
Mary Reveley took out a training licence in 1982 with just four horses but soon emerged as a powerhouse of the northern circuit.
She was the first woman in Britain to saddle 100 winners in a calendar year, having reached the significant milestone in 1991.
In the same year she landed the Cambridgeshire handicap at Newmarket with her favourite horse, Mellottie.
In 1992, Reveley then became the only British female to claim 50 victories in a Flat season.
She twice won the Cesarewitch with Old Red (1995) and Turnpole (1997), while the likes of Cab On Target, Marello, Seven Towers and Into The Red secured big-race victories over jumps.
She retired from training in 2004 and passed on the baton to her son, who announced his own retirement this January.
“The only good thing was that she didn’t suffer at all,” Keith Reveley said.
“She always loved being on the farm and wasn’t ever keen on going races as she just wanted to be around the horses.
“She did it all without any publicity and always wanted to stay out of the limelight. Even in spite of not wanting publicity, she was sent all these horses and enjoyed wonderful success.
“The memories we have of her are just amazing. Her career was unbelievable and we didn’t appreciate at the time just how successful she was.”