The 19-year-old amateur jockey was found dead in a car wash while embarking on a promising horse racing career

The 19-year-old amateur jockey is found dead in a car wash while embarking on a promising horse racing career.

  • Michael Pitt, 19, found dead in a petrol station car wash in Hungerford, Berkshire
  • Son of racehorse trainer Tim Pitt, Michael had recently obtained an amateur license
  • An employee who showed up at work discovered the amateur jockey’s body at 7 a.m
  • Investigation today confirmed the cause of death of the promising rider hung
  • If you want to talk to someone, call 116 123 for Samaritan’s toll-free 24 hour hotline

A teenage amateur jockey was found dead in a car wash after gaining enough experience to earn an amateur license, an inquest has learned.

Promising rider Michael Pitt, 19, took the tentative first steps in his horse racing career when he was found hanged in the historic market town of Hungerford, Berkshire.

An investigation today has learned that a garage worker who arrived for work at the Charnham Street petrol station found Michael’s body in the car wash.

A pathologist who performed the autopsy ruled that the cause of death was pending.

Michael, son of top racehorse trainer Tim Pitt, had recently gained enough amateur experience to ride jumps and worked as a stable boy for the prestigious Warren Greatrex yard in Lambourn, Berks.

The teenager had completed his last race on a horse named Moonlighting in November and finished seventh at Southwell, having ridden the flat 26 times since getting his license in 2019.

Promising rider Michael Pitt, 19, took the tentative first steps in his horse racing career when he was found hanged in the historic market town of Hungerford, Berkshire

Promising rider Michael Pitt, 19, took the tentative first steps in his horse racing career when he was found hanged in the historic market town of Hungerford, Berkshire

Tragically, the body of the promising young rider was found just after 7am on July 5 at the Co-op gas station in Hungerford.

Daniel Way, an employee, arrived at work and discovered the body of a young man in the jet wash room, according to the inquest.

Assistant Berkshire coroner Ian Wade QC said: ‘He seemed completely unresponsive. It was Daniel Way’s impression that the body had been lying there for quite a few hours.’

Pathologist Dr. Fawaz Musa conducted a post-mortem examination and confirmed the cause of death was pending.

Since then, tributes have been pouring in for the promising young jockey.

Since then, tributes have been pouring in for the promising young jockey (pictured) who recently obtained his amateur license

Since then, tributes have been pouring in for the promising young jockey (pictured) who recently obtained his amateur license

Since then, tributes have been pouring in for the promising young jockey (pictured) who recently obtained his amateur license

On social media, Denis Coakley Racing said: “We are all devastated by the news of the sudden and tragic death of Michael Pitt.

“Michael was not only a lifelong good friend of the family, but he also became our very first apprentice jockey.

“He had started riding for us at Keeper’s Stables during his school holidays and then he started working full time in June 2018.

“It has been a real pleasure to see Michael grow as a person and rider during his time with us.

“Michael was always a very happy boy and loved to joke, he worked very hard indeed and was always looking to improve.

“He was hugely popular in the yard, with all the owners and also in the village of West Ilsley. Michael was a boy with a very bright future ahead of him.’

Michael had worked as a stable boy for Warren Greatrex before his death and Mr Greatrex told local media: ‘It is a terrible accident. He was a great boy and a very good young rider.

An investigation today revealed that a garage worker arriving for work at the Charnham Street petrol station found Michael's body in the car wash.

An investigation today revealed that a garage worker arriving for work at the Charnham Street petrol station found Michael's body in the car wash.

An investigation today revealed that a garage worker arriving for work at the Charnham Street petrol station found Michael’s body in the car wash.

“He was loved by everyone and this hit us all hard. He was a stable boy for us who just got his amateur license, he rode very well and worked hard too.

“He was with us for about a year. He fit in great and was a real sassy fellow. He always had a smile on his face and was very popular among the staff.’

The Chief Executive Officer of the Injured Jockeys Fund, Lisa Hancock, said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that former apprentice jockey Michael Pitt, aged 19, has sadly passed away following a tragic accident on Sunday.

His family is immensely grateful for the many messages they receive, as are Warren and Tessa Greatrex, whose yard Michael worked in Lambourn.

“The family would respectfully request that no cards or flowers be sent, but instead all donations will go to the Injured Jockeys Fund of Racing Welfare.”

Assistant Coroner Mr Wade concluded: ‘This is an unnatural death of a 19-year-old young man.

“It requires toxicology reports, GP records and a report from the Ambulance Service who attended, as well as a Thames Valley Police report and a statement from eyewitness Mr Way.”

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