Rose Paterson has today (Saturday) been inducted as an Aintree Legend, joining distinguished figures from the Jump Racing world including Ginger McCain, Sir Peter O’Sullevan and Jenny Pitman.
Aintree’s late chairman was honoured in a short ceremony at the racecourse on Saturday morning. Rose’s family were joined by those in attendance at Aintree for Randox Grand National Day outside ‘McCoy’s’, where a plaque bearing her name was unveiled in the Hall of Fame.
Rose had a longstanding presence at Aintree, serving as Chairman from 2014 before her death in June of last year.
The ceremony was brought to a close by a moving rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ by Laura Wright, and the Aintree Chairman Nicholas Wrigley paid tribute to Rose and the legacy she has left behind.
He said: “Today is a very sad day for all of us, especially for Owen, Felix, Ned and Evie, but we must remember that Rose is truly an Aintree legend and it is very important that she is recognised as one.
“To everyone involved at Aintree, she was a star. She was much loved by us all on the committee, to everyone who worked here here, either full-time or just here for the day.
“As we have seen, she was hugely respected by owners, trainers and jockeys and there have been many wonderful tributes this week. She was concerned to ensure that everybody racing and working in racing was recognised and supported and was strongly motivated by enhancing horse welfare.
“I hope you have seen yesterday’s Virtual Grand Women’s Summit, which is a lasting legacy to Rose. Throughout all of this, her love for Owen and her family shone through, so I am very proud to induct Rose as a true Aintree Legend.”
Rose’s husband Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, paid tribute to his late wife and announced the launch of the Rose Paterson Trust, which is aiming to raise money towards suicide prevention.
He said: “I’d like to thank Nicholas and the committee for the huge honour of making Rose a Legend. She absolutely loved this place. She loved Liverpool, she loved the staff and she loved doing what she did. She loved the characters and I think she’d be very pleased with her position (on the wall), above Trevor Hemmings but below Many Clouds!
“For us it’s just a very sad day. Normally we’d have come in early and we’d have walked the course and she’d be picking out all the details, and she’s not here. But what we’ve done - and I pay massive tribute to my three children - we’ve set up the Rose Paterson Trust.
“Our very simple aim is to raise money for suicide prevention and to publicise that in the next 90 minutes someone will take their life – which is nearly 15 jumbo jets per year. We feel very strongly that this should be talked about more and if we can possibly prevent one single family going through the extreme anguish that we went through.
“The reaction of racing has been quite extraordinary and I’d like to thank everyone who has pledged so far. We will put the money forward to projects and charities which we hope will prevent suicide and might just save that one family.
“Could I thank you all very much for the immensely kind reaction to what’s happened. We look forward to coming back for future years and we’ll be very proud to see Rose sitting proudly on the wall as an Aintree legend.”