TRIBUTES have been paid to the late wife of North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson and chairman of Aintree Racecourse, Rose Paterson.

The 63-year-old was found dead near the couple’s home on Wednesday morning, prompting messages of kindness from those who knew her.

A popular figure in the world of horse-racing, Mrs Paterson was well-known for her work as chairman of Aintree Racecourse, and was head of The Jockey Club’s Horse Welfare group.

Also known for her charity work, Mrs Paterson along with her husband raised more than £120,000 in 2011 after they completed the Mongol Derby.

Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Duncan Kerr, described Mrs Paterson’s death as extremely sad news and offered thoughts to Mr Paterson on behalf of Oswestry Town Council.

He said: “It is extremely sad news and all of our thoughts at the council are with Mr Paterson and his family at what is a very difficult time.

“I know his wife was always very dedicated to supporting him with his work as an MP.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who knew her.”

Town councillor Chris Schofield was a close friend to the couple, and described Mrs Paterson as an amazing lady.

“She was an absolutely amazing lady. She did an awful lot for charity and was a loving grandmother, mother and wife,” he said.

“They are the most fantastic couple I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

“I’m absolutely devastated.”

The Labour Party candidate for the past three General Elections, Graeme Currie, posted on Twitter describing Mrs Paterson’s death as “terribly sad news”.

Mr Paterson's fellow Conservative MP, Simon Baynes, said: “I was so sorry to hear of the death of Rose Paterson and my heart goes out to her husband Owen and their three children.

"I thought Rose was a delightful person – kind, highly intelligent and devoted to her family.

"She was very supportive of Owen’s career and highly accomplished in her own right, not least as chairman of Aintree, and will be much missed for her charm, common sense and willingness to help and support others.”

Jockeys racing at Haydock Races on Wednesday wore black armbands and took part in a minute’s silence to remember Mrs Paterson and Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell.

Nick Rust, British Horse Racing Authority CEO, released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

He said: “I am extremely saddened to hear of Rose’s passing. Our thoughts are with Owen and the rest of Rose’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

“Rose was one of those rare people who always seemed to see the bigger picture, do her best for the wider good and work tirelessly and selflessly towards achieving results

“She also had the knack of being able to say the right words at the right time.

“Rose will be sadly missed for who she was, but also throughout racing for the enormous contribution she made.”

Downing Street said that Boris Johnson had offered his condolences to Mr Paterson and his family.

"The PM heard the news this morning and has written to Owen.

"His thoughts and every sympathy are with Owen, his children and grandchildren at this difficult time," a spokesman said.