LONG-TIME ASSISTANT TO TOP TRAINER FOUND DEAD AFTER GOING MISSING ON REMOTE GREEK ISLAND

A long-time assistant to record-breaking US trainer Steve Asmussen has been found dead on a remote Greek Island.

The family of Toby Sheets, 55, confirmed to the TDN, that he was the tourist whose body was found on the tiny island of Mathraki, west of Corfu, by another holidaymakers. "He did pass away in Greece," said Greg Sheets. "As of right now, that's all we know. The family is trying to figure out what happened."

Sheets had been reported missing on Thursday by his host, a Greek-American friend, 48 hours after being seen at a cafe with two female tourists who have since left the island. His body has been taken for a postmortem examination to be carried out.

Although no cause of death has been made public, the island's deputy mayor Spyros Argyros told the New York Times that the police were called after the door to Sheets' home was found open with the lights and air conditioning on.

He said: "He was found in the surf on the beach at a spot which had already been searched, so it seems he was washed out of the sea in the past 24 hours."

Steve Asmussen is the leading trainer in North America by wins with over 10,500 successes and victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes as well as the Dubai World Cup.

Paying tribute, Asmussen told the TDN: "Toby was part of our stable for many years, including our Belmont Stakes win with Creator, as well as his expert handling of Haynesfield among others. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends." In another tribute, blogger Teresa Genaro, posted on X: "Gutting news about a funny, talented person."

This incident adds to a growing list of recent cases where tourists on Greek islands have either died or gone missing, often after setting off on hikes in extreme heat. The region has been hit by scorching temperatures pushing 43C as the authorities warn about venturing out in the unseasonably hot weather.

A 74-year-old Dutch tourist was found face down in a ravine by a fire department drone on Saturday, roughly 300 metres from where he was last seen struggling in the intense heat. They come after British TV presenter and author, Dr Michael Mosley, was found dead last Sunday on the island of Symi.

Meanwhile, a search operation is continuing for two French holidaymakers reported missing on Friday on the secluded island of Sikinos in the Aegean Sea, a Cyclades island with fewer than 400 permanent residents.

2024-06-17T16:18:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd