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Support for Announcer Hunt After Family Murdered

Police report their chief suspect, 26-year-old Kyle Clifford, is in custody.

Racing commentator John Hunt

Racing commentator John Hunt

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

Jockeys in England will ride wearing black armbands at race meetings July 10-11 and observe a minute's silence as the sport rallies around John Hunt in the wake of the tragic murder of his wife and two daughters.

The appalling triple murder took place in the east of England in a crossbow attack shortly before 7 p.m. on the evening of July 9. They all died at the scene. The murders were described as "such incomprehensible evil" by Cornelius Lysaght as he led industry-wide support for his longtime BBC Radio colleague.

More than 23 hours after the horrific incidents, the BBC reported a substantial manhunt across multiple areas had resulted in the police finally having their chief suspect, 26-year-old Kyle Clifford, in custody.

The news of the Hunt family's suffering has sent a devastating wave through a close-knit sport and the BBC 5 Live community. Those who know the popular broadcaster, described as "the greatest family man" and "one of the nicest members of the human race," are left shocked and appalled by their friend and colleague's suffering and willing to do whatever they can to help.

"Like everyone else I feel numb and sick at such incomprehensible evil, even more so that it's John's family to whom it's happened," said Lysaght. "Everyone who knows John will tell you he's the greatest family man imaginable, and so proud of all of them.

"I know I mirror what the whole racing community, in which John's been such a well-known and popular figure for so long, and the extended sports media world in which he's been involved for so long as well, will be thinking in sending sympathy, love, and support to John."

An internal note circulated to BBC 5 Live staff read: "The news today about John Hunt's family is utterly devastating. Our thoughts are with John and his family at this incredibly difficult time and we will provide him with all the support we can."

The public face of the sport, ITV Racing's lead presenter Ed Chamberlin, said: "It's a hard day for everyone who knows John and you simply can't begin to imagine what he's going through.

"You can't comprehend it, none of us can, it's unimaginably awful. Newmarket (on Thursday) is going to be a somber place.

"We'll do everything to get the tone right on ITV and the aim is to get across how respected and loved he is. He's one of the best, as a commentator across the sporting landscape, but also as a human being."

'This is an unimaginable situation'

Horserace Writers and Photographers Association president David Cleary said: "This is an unimaginable situation and I'm sure the thoughts of every one of our members are with John. We will of course offer him all the support he may need."

The Professional Jockeys Association said: "This is an unspeakable tragedy to befall anyone, but to happen to someone as popular and beloved as John is even more heartbreaking. Jockeys will wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence at race meetings tonight and tomorrow."

Hunt's fellow broadcasters Nick Luck and Mike Vince took to X and Luck posted: "Just incomprehensible how somebody so kind should face such cruelty—all our love is with John."

Vince added: "John Hunt was, is, and always will be one of the best broadcasting professionals I have ever had the honor of working with, and one of the nicest members of the human race. My heart bleeds for him. This is simply shattering."

There was support too from across the sport, as leading jockey Tom Marquand said: "Impossible to even begin to comprehend what John and his family are going through right now, but one can only hope justice will be served in time."

The X account of Sky Sports Racing, @AtTheRaces, posted: "Everyone at Sky Sports Racing and At The Races is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Hertfordshire and our thoughts are with our colleague John Hunt, his family and friends at this awful time."

ITV Racing presenter Matt Chapman posted on X: "No words needed for what has happened to @HuntyCaller and family today. Impossible to comprehend the pain. Just know we are all here for you John. We love you pal—racing loves you."

Rod Street, chief executive of the British Champions Series, added: "Thoughts and prayers do not seem remotely sufficient at this moment. Poor John Hunt and the unimaginable horror that has befallen his family. Extremely hard to comprehend."

Grand National, Gold Cup and Royal Ascot-winning trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "There are no words to describe the tragic, evil and incomprehensible news today. John is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet and we are all absolutely heartbroken for him. This is just so cruel. We are all here for you @HuntyCaller."