Keighley jockey's fall contributed to her death 23 years later, inquest hears

Sharron Murgatroyd in action

Sharron Murgatroyd in action

First published in News

A fall in which a leading Keighley-born lady jockey was paralysed contributed to her death more than 20 years later, an inquest heard.

Sharron Murgatroyd, 54, died in the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds on March 28 after being admitted following a suspected heart attack at her home in Newmarket Road, Kennett, three days earlier.

The inquest yesterday at Ipswich heard that despite initially making progress, Miss Murgatroyd’s condition began to deteriorate.

She died while members of her family were travelling to the hospital from their home in Keighley.

A post-mortem examination said death had been due to pneumonia.

In a statement, Dr Charles Parker, a member of the team treating Miss Murgatroyd, said injuries sustained in 1991 during a race at Bangor had left her particularly prone to chest infections and respiratory problems.

Dr Parker said her injuries had contributed to her death although it was not possible to say how much.

The inquest heard Miss Murgatroyd, who had also lived in Shipley for part of her life, was left paralysed from the chest down after her horse Independent Air fell at the last in a race at Bangor.

Despite initially being given a life expectancy of five years, she went on to write four books, went scuba diving and helped raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund with a tandem skydive.

Speaking in 2001, Miss Murgatroyd said she had been involved in the “depths of despair” and “some incredible highs”.

After just completing her fourth book, she told the press: “I thought I had a lot to say about my life and how it has changed over the ten years since the accident.

“I also want this book to give people an insight into how to deal with someone who has a disability. Many people just don’t know what to say to someone like me.”

Her lifetime interest in horses began in childhood when her parents purchased a pony and after leaving school at 16 she went to work in the racing industry, winning seven flat races and seven over jumps. She went on to open her own livery stables at her home in Kennett.

Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict that Miss Murgatroyd died as a result of pneumonia.

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