AT Ayr racecourse yesterday, the crowd, jockeys, stable staff and racecourse employees all stood still for an impeccably observed minute’s silence to remember Natasha Galpin, the work rider who died on Wednesday after an accident on the gallops at trainer Iain Jardine’s stable. It was proof, as if any were needed, of how racing people generate solidarity in the face of tragedy.

The death of Galpin at the age of just 22 is truly heartbreaking and deeply shocking. For her to lose her life at such a young age and with such a bright future ahead of her serves as a reminder that the “great triviality”, as Timeform founder Phil Bull described racing, is sometimes very far from glorious and never a triviality.

How can it be when death and injury are such constant companions to all who work with racehorses? Yes, the death of a racehorse is hugely regrettable at any time, but for a young woman in the bloom of life to die in this manner is infinitely worse, and I can only image the grief her family, friends and colleagues are feeling.

I offer my most sincere condolences for I know the pain of losing people that are close to you. Even when someone dies doing something that they loved, it is little consolation when dealing with the enormity of death.

Galpin greatly loved horses and always wanted to work with them. She was from Laggan near Newtonmore and had moved south to become a full-time member of staff at Jardine’s stable at Hetland Hill near Carrutherstown in Dumfriesshire. She was making a name for herself as an event rider, and won the Scottish and Northern Novice Championship in 2017 on her own horse, Miss Contender. She also had her own livery business along with her boyfriend Olyn Sayer. In short, she was a committed and skilful horsewoman with a long and fulfilling career ahead of her.

The accident that led to Galpin’s death was freakish in that the horse she was riding on Tuesday dropped dead instantly while travelling at speed, giving her no chance of recovery and hurling her to the ground where she sustained the injuries that led to her death on Wednesday. In the small but close-knit world of Scottish racing, her death struck like a hammer blow. There has also been a huge outpouring of sympathy across British and Irish racing because those involved in the sport know how catastrophic such an event is to all who know and love the victim of such an accident.

So why carry on with a sport that is obviously dangerous? Why do it when people and horses are regularly injured and, as we have seen this past week, die as a result of participating? There are times, such as when Cheltenham Festival winner Kieran Kelly was killed in a fall at Kilbeggan racecourse in 2003, when I have asked myself is racing worth it? I have been doing so again these past few days, and to be honest, justifying racing at such a time is difficult for an observer like myself. I can only point to the reaction of the people more involved in the sport and their wish is to carry on racing.

No doubt there will be those opponents of racing who will say ‘the humans have a choice, the horse doesn’t’, but I have been privileged to see many of them up close in stable yards and on the course and I truly believe that racehorses love their life. It’s what they are bred to do, and all their instincts are to race and most of them always try their best. Except when I’ve bet on them, of course.

People get involved in racing for many reasons, but there is one quality they all share and that is a love for horses. Stable staff certainly don’t do it for the money, and many trainers will tell you that it’s a struggle to keep a yard going nowadays. But ask them about their horses, and owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff alike will always tell you it’s about the animals in their care, not the cash.

There’s another reason why they do it. I know of no other sport that provides such emotionally addictive highs as racing.

Jardine himself has known the highs, winning the Ebor handicap in 2017 with Nakeeta, the biggest single cash prize ever won on the flat by a Scottish trainer. But now he has to cope with the ultimate low.

I am confident that eventually Jardine and his stable will bounce back from this nadir, because racing people develop an inner strength that usually enables them to meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same, as Rudyard Kipling put it.

It will take time, but Jardine and his team will race and win, and do it for the memory of Galpin. In the meantime, can I make a humble suggestion that racing’s authorities soon ensure that Galpin is commemorated in a correct way, such as a scholarship in her name.