Appeal following teenager’s death exceeds £8,000

Tim Jones riding on Middleham gallops.

A fundraising appeal launched following the death of a promising young rider has passed £8,000.

The appeal was started by Simon Jones following the death of his son Tim, who was 17 when he took his own life last month.

The teenager was a promising event rider and had worked on and off at Micky Hammond’s training yard in Middleham, where his parents had interests in several horses, since the age of ten.

He had completed his amateur jockey licence course and was also a talented eventer competing in the British Eventing series and qualifying for Badminton this year.

The appeal aims to raise money improve the mental health wellbeing programme offered by racing charity Racing Welfare.

Simon said his son had a worry that no-one knew about and he couldn’t tell anyone about.

He added: “I want, with your support, to help Racing Welfare build up its mental health wellbeing programme.

“My goal is to have a mental health first aider in each yard, building on Racing Welfare’s programme of developing mental health awareness amongst its own staff.”

Tim Jones.

He said the money raised would fund special training in mental health issues for volunteers from yards, so they might be able to spot signs of problems amongst staff, talk to them and persuade them to seek professional help.

He initially set a target of £5,000 but that was achieved within just two days.

Micky Hammond said the yard has been left “absolutely devastated” by the sudden death.

Tim was studying agriculture and land management at Askham Bryan College.

Tim Whitaker, acting CEO and principal at the college, said: “We were all deeply saddened by the loss of Tim. He was a popular and highly regarded member of our community and is very much missed.

“As a parent myself, I am very aware of the importance of young people’s mental health and commend the courage of Tim’s father in setting up this appeal. It’s an incredibly brave thing to do and hopefully it will help prevent others experiencing such emotional turmoil and trauma.

“The loss of Tim has affected us all and we continue to support his fellow students and staff members through what is a very sad and difficult time.”

To support the fundraising appeal click here.