Westport funeral for fallen jockey Mundy
A popular Westport jockey has been remembered by friends and family as " best girl on the planet".
Several hundred people gathered to farewell 26-year-old Ashlee Marie Mundy in her hometown of Westport yesterday.
The former Cantabrian died in Dunedin Hospital on December 31 after suffering serious head injuries when her horse fell at the Kurow races two days earlier.
Mundy was a freelance jockey at the Gold Coast Turf Club, where she had been expected to return in February.
She had been in New Zealand to ride on the South Island's summer circuit and had spent Christmas Day with her family in Westport for the first time in about 10 years, her father said at yesterday's service at the Solid Energy Centre.
Lockey Mundy described his daughter as "the best girl on the planet".
She was a "steady, but not spectacular" pupil at Westport North primary and Buller High School, but excelled at sport, particularly swimming and cross-country running.
He spoke of spending Christmas day with hs daughter and was unable to recall his last words to her.
"I probably said something like 'drive safely' because deep down I thought possibly the risk of getting hurt on the roasds was going to be much higher than having an accident on the tracks."
Former employer Michael Pitman delivered Mundy's eulogy, saying the young jockey was "like a daughter, a sister ... and a friend to my family and I".
Mundy moved to Christchurch in 2004 as Pitman's apprentice and had her first success in her first ever ride at an event in Oamaru.
"There was a lot of proud people in Oamaru that day. She wasn't an overnight success ... but she was a bloody good rider, she was."
Friend Laura Cheshire said Mundy "became one of the best friends I ever had".
Cousin Sjaan Greig said Mundy was "the leader of every pack".
"She was the fearless one, always up for a challenge. You couldn't help but let that confidence rub off on you; when you're with Ash you always felt bulletproof."
A tribute was also read on behalf of Mundy's favourite band - Kiwi group Six60.
The band planned to dedicate their concert in Tauranga last night to the fallen jockey.
A memorial service was also held for Mundy on the Gold Coast yesterday.
On Tuesday, her mother Cheryl Mundy was at the Waikouaiti racecourse for a minute's silence to mark the death of her daughter.
The minute's silence was observed at three race meetings in New Zealand on New Year's Day and jockeys at Waikouaiti wore black armbands in Mundy's honour.
The young jockey would again be remembered at a race meet in Australia later this month, where a close friend planned to wear black silks, with a silver fern design on the chest, in her memory.
Mundy's parents and close friends Rikki Jamieson and Laura Cheshire came up with the design, which was revealed on a Facebook memorial page for the jockey on Wednesday.
The page said Jamieson would wear the colours for some of her rides at the Gold Coast races on January 19.