ONE of Scotland’s leading horse-jump trainers has died after an apparent suicide bid.
Peter Monteith, 61, was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Sunday evening but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Police and an ambulance crew responded to an emergency call to the trainer’s yard in Rosewell, Midlothian.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police and ambulance personnel attended at an address in Rosewell, Midlothian on Sunday evening in response to an emergency call.
“A 61-year-old man was conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
“Whilst enquiries are at an early stage, there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances at this time and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in respect of the circumstances.”
The trainer – who leaves behind his wife Doreen – enjoyed his best season in 2007-08 with 34 winners, and in 1994 he won the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Dizzy.
Former Grand National-winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald said Mr Monteith was a “gentleman”.
He said: “That is the first word that springs to mind when I think of him.
“He was a really nice guy and a stalwart of northern racing.
“I cannot believe it. I speak to him every week. It’s just like a bolt out of the blue.
“It’s devastating news for all of Scottish racing and his family.
“It’s just unbelievable and I haven’t come to terms with it.
“You speak to him one day and the next he’s not here anymore.
“I don’t know the circumstances, but our thoughts at this time are with his wife.
“I spoke to a jockey who was riding for him yesterday (Sun), Wilson Renwick, and he said he appeared to be in good form.
“He said Peter was pleased with how the horse, Raysrock, ran.
“There was no hint of anything, not as far as I was aware.
“It’s a sad loss for racing and particularly Scottish racing.
“I had about a dozen horses with him and he’s done very well.
“It’s a loss for me personally and there will be a lot of people who he will be a greater loss to – his family and his friends in Scotland. It’s just so sad.”