Mike Vince pays his personal tribute to Aintree chairman Rose Paterson following her death on Wednesday.
This has been the bleakest of weeks for the sport we all love.
First the news of Liam Treadwell and now it has to come to terms with the loss of Rose Paterson, the hugely successful, popular and talented Chairman of Aintree just hours later.
Rose ate, drank and slept Aintree Racecourse and the Randox Grand National in particular. She knew she was entrusted with the stewardship of one of this country’s iconic sporting events, when for 15 or so minutes the eyes of the world fall on that most welcoming part of Merseyside.
It was even more welcoming because Rose made it so.
I have the honour of being part of the Grand National presentation team and, as such, got to see Rose at work at close quarters. She used to trust me with writing her words for the presentation ceremony so all that had to be done in the post-race euphoria was inserting the name of the winning horse. She’d want the script early on the Saturday morning so she had time to make sure she got it right - and without fail she did.
You didn’t work for Rose, you worked with her.
She was part of many a trip to trainers' yards to promote the race - and no one was more excited by the Tiger Roll story - always being at the front, clad in boots, scarf and would unquestionably don a snorkel and flippers if the weather demanded it to get onto the gallops to see Aintree-bound hopefuls at work.
She was determined just to be a member of the group, join in the fun to be had.
Her legacy at Aintree is of a race which makes headlines around the world, with an award-winning community programme in which she took delight, and facilities which are the envy of many other tracks that aspire at greatness.
Forget not, either, the work with the team at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Her loss to racing is incalculable and hearts go out to husband Owen and family, and to the team at Aintree, who must now decide how to salute someone they admired and respected so much.
They’ll get it right, just as Rose always did.