Dean Holland, a decorated Australian jockey, tragically passed away last week at the age of 34 after being thrown from a horse in the middle of a race.
During an opening race at Donald Racecourse in Victoria, Australia, the jockey’s horse veered into the rail on the inside of the track. As a result, the rider and another competitor fell from their horses. Although the second jockey, Alana Kelly, survived the fall and did not sustain serious injuries, Holland passed away on site after paramedics tended to him.
“It was a tragic accident at Donald today and we are all deeply shocked and saddened that Dean has passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the fall,” Racing Victoria CEO Andrew Jones announced in a statement after the accident.
Jones added the sentiments, “Dean’s passing is heartbreaking for all within Victorian racing and the sport nationally. It is a sobering reminder of the immense bravery of our riders.”
As a decorated member of the community, the racing world has been outspoken about the loss of Holland. Many have even given their support to his wife Lucy and their four children.
The racing community mourns the loss of Dean Holland
On Twitter, racing commentator Ben Asgari even shared that the veteran jockey’s death was “unbearably sad” news to hear. “There wasn’t a more likable person on the racetrack. We need to do all we can to help his young family,” he wrote on social media. “Love to Dean’s friends and family, thinking of you all.”
Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) Chief Executive, Matt Hyland also released a statement addressing Holland’s death. “The VJA and our members are incredibly saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend Dean Holland and extend our heartfelt condolences to his partner Lucy, his four children, and his wider family,” he said.
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“Dean was a much-loved member of the riding group here in Victoria and when he traveled interstate, and his fellow riders will all be shattered at the shock news of his passing as we at the VJA are,” the statement continued. “Together with Racing Victoria, the Jockey Assistance Program will be wrapping its arms around the riding group and will be working to support Lucy and the Holland family both now and importantly into the future.”
Throughout his career, the jockey had 1,080 wins since beginning to ride competitively in the year 2005. A highlight of his career occurred in March, as he won the Newmarket Handicap — a Group 1 race, or the highest level of horse racing.
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