A fall in which a leading lady jockey was paralysed contributed to her death more than 20 years later, an inquest has heard.
Sharron Murgatroyd, 54, died in the West Suffolk Hospital on March 28 after being admitted following a suspected heart attack at her home in Newmarket Road, Kennett three days earlier.
An inquest held yesterday in Ipswich heard that despite initially making progress, Miss Murgatroyd’s condition began to deteriorate.
She died on the evening of March 28 as members of her family were travelling to the hospital from their home in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
A post mortem examination confirmed that 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 to what extent.
The inquest heard how Miss Murgatroyd 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 around five years, the hearing heard she went on to write four books, went scuba diving and helped raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Recording a verdict that Miss Murgatroyd died as a result of pneumonia, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “She clearly was a brave and inspirational person.”
* Miss Murgatroyd’s funeral service will be held today at Newmarket’s Roman Catholic Church at 2pm. Donations will be for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.