All the staff at Micky Hammond's northern yard in Middleham were left 'absolutely devastated' after the shock and sudden death of teenager Tim Jones, who passed away last week at the age of 17.
Jones - part of the team since the age of ten, was growing through the ranks at the base in North Yorkshire, and had become a familiar face on course when leading up runners for their respective races.
Hammond paid full tribute to the student and promising event rider, who died on Thursday last week.
(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "He was a smiling face that always brightened up weekends and half-terms or any day for that matter.
"We'd known him since he was ten. His parents, Simon and Sally, have interests in a couple of horses with us, and Timmy had worked here on and off since then.
"He started mucking out and sweeping up and he rode out his first lot at 13. He was always on hand to help no matter what the job," he finished.
Jones had been attending Askham Bryan College in York.
Having progressed from his younger days in pony racing, he had been operating in British Eventing BE100 class - a level for horses and riders to compete over fences with a maximum height of 100cm.
Hammond continued: "He was an unbelievably talented rider and rode at Badminton just a couple of weeks ago.
"It's an achievement in itself to get there and compete at such a young age.
"Everyone in the yard and a lot of people in the village were shocked and upset, and I have to say there was a very sombre mood in the yard on Friday morning."
Reporting Jones's death on his Facebook page, Hammond concluded: "Rest easy Timmy. The yard will not be the same without you."
We send our own personal regards to Tim Jones' family.