Group 1-winning jockey Dean Holland has died after a sickening race fall in country Victoria, leaving behind a wife and four children under the age of five in a tragedy that has shocked the racing world.
The 34-year-old was riding Tony McEvoy gelding Headingley in the first race at Donald, 280km north-west of , when he was involved in a fall described by onlookers as ‘sickening’.
Holland was thrown to the turf when the three-year-old gelding moved sharply to the inside rail before falling as the field turned for home at the top of the straight.
Alana Kelly and her mount Time to Rumble were then also brought down, with the full force and weight of both horses appear to land on Holland, who remained prone on the turf.
Miraculously, both mounts appear to have avoided injury, and ran away from the scene, while Kelly was able to walk back to the scales.
Group 1-winning jockey Dean Holland died in a race incident on Sunday, leaving behind a wife and four children under the age of five
Holland was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition after a sickening race fall in country Victoria, and, tragically, has since died
Holland won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap on March 11 at Flemington. The star jockey has clocked up more than 1000 winners in his career
The racing world sent messages of support to Holland’s wife Lucy (right) following his death
Jockey Alana Kelly (centre, pink and blue silks) was also brought down in the fall, with Holland unseen under the first horse
Victoria Police confirmed his death just after 4pm.He leaves behind a wife and four children.
‘Police will prepare a report for the coroner following the death of a jockey in Donald,’ a police statement said.
‘The male was riding in a race at a track on Racecourse Road when he fell around 1.30pm.He was worked on by paramedics but sadly died at the scene.
‘Work Safe have been notified and will investigate. The death is not being treated as suspicious.’
The veteran jockey rode 1080 winners (accumulating $32.4million in prizemoney for connections) during a superb career, which includes Group 1 wins in the Newmarket Handicap in March and Australasian Oaks in Adelaide, where he cut his teeth as a rider.
Ironically, that Newmarket win on In Secret only came because superstar rider Jamie Kah was in hospital (where she remains) with a very serious head injury – and he said at the time he didn’t want to ‘yahoo’ about the win because s