By Brendan Rees
An apprentice jockey from Clyde has died after a tragic accident at Cranbourne Racecourse on Friday 30 August.
Police say it’s believed the 22-year-old Clyde woman was riding a horse at a racecourse on Grant Street about 4.35am when she fell.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious and police will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Victoria Police and WorkSafe are investigating the circumstances of the incident in which no other riders were injured.
Racing Victoria released a statement of the young jockey’s death.
“It is with great sadness that Racing Victoria (RV) confirms that a female jockey has tragically passed away following an incident at the Cranbourne Training Centre this morning,” the statement said.
“Victoria Police and WorkSafe are on-site investigating the circumstances of the incident in which no other riders were injured.”
Cranbourne trainer Trent Busuttin described the death as a “heartbreaking.”
“It’s a terrible situation,” he said.
“Racing Victoria and Cranbourne Turf Club are doing what they can.”
He said all staff were shocked by the incident: “It’s a pretty sombre mood.”
“Obviously your main thoughts are with family and her friends and her partner,” Mr Busuttin said.
He described the jockeys at Cranbourne Racecourse as a “tight bunch” and the incident “just showcases how dangerous it is.”
“It’s a dangerous profession, it’s just a sad event.”
“You can put in all the procedures but you know they’re animals,” he said.
Christine Reeve, who is a track-work rider at the Cranbourne Training Centre, said she had been riding about the time the incident occurred.
“It’s just a very, very sad and tragic morning for everybody.”
“You just don’t expect it to happen,” she said.
“We all as riders are aware of things that can happen.
“Just driving a car it can happen. Riding a horse, it can happen,” she added.
It wasn’t until she got back to the horse stalls that she heard the news.
“It’s just sad because a lot of the people involved with people are just young people – they’ve got their lives ahead of them,” Ms Reeve said.
RV announced track work at the Cranbourne Training Centre was closed following the incident and a race meeting at Pakenham had also been abandoned on Friday.
“RV, the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) and the Cranbourne Turf Club are offering assistance to the family and local racing community at this tragic time,” RV said in a statement.
The statement continued: “The meeting has been abandoned in the interests of participant welfare and out of respect for the rider and her family.”
“RV and VJA are providing counselling support to the rider’s family, her colleagues and the racing community.
“Those needing confidential counselling are encouraged to contact Stableline on 1300 520 122.”