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Tragic Loss of Jockey Dean Holland Following Horrific Fall at Donald

Last updated: 24 Apr 2023
Bets.com.au Staff 24 Apr 2023
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  • Vale jockey Dean Holland
  • Holland died after a horrific fall at Donald on Monday
dean holland jockey
Jockey Dean Holland died after a fall at Donald (Getty Images)

Jockey Dean Holland, who recently won the Newmarket Handicap, tragically passed away following a shocking fall during a race in Victoria on Monday.

Holland's mount, Headingley, took a sharp turn and fell as the field entered the straight in the Leading Teams 3YO Maiden Plate (1000m). 

The incident led to another jockey, Alana Kelly, falling from her horse Time To Rumble after it was brought down by the fallen Headingley. 

While Kelly returned to scale, Holland remained on the track, receiving treatment from paramedics. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, Holland could not be saved, and his death was confirmed by the Victorian Jockeys' Association.

Investigation and Meeting Abandonment

Work Safe has been notified of the incident and will conduct an investigation. The death is not being treated as suspicious, and police will prepare a report for the coroner. 

The remainder of Monday's meeting was abandoned by stewards, and it was reported that both horses involved in the incident escaped injury.

Racing Victoria have also announced that Tuesday's Anzac Day racing at Flemington and Moe is being cancelled as a mark of respect.

This tragic event follows a series of severe falls in Victoria that have seriously injured several other jockeys, including Jamie Kah, Ethan Brown, Craig Williams, and Teo Nugent. 

Holland's Legacy

Holland, a father of four young children, had experienced significant success in recent weeks, including his last-minute winning ride on In Secret in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

Originally from South Australia, Holland was enjoying a breakout season with 82 victories in Victoria, placing him fourth on the Victorian jockeys' premiership table. 

Prior to Monday's race, he had last competed at Morphettville on Saturday, finishing fourth on Seradess in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes. Among his most notable achievements was his victory in the 2019 Adelaide Cup on Surprise Baby.

Industry Reaction and Support

The racing community has expressed deep sorrow and shock over the sudden loss of Dean Holland. Fellow jockeys, trainers, and other industry professionals have shared their condolences and heartfelt tributes on social media, highlighting Holland's skill, dedication, and sportsmanship. 

In response to the recent string of accidents involving jockeys, there have been renewed calls for a review of safety measures within the sport to protect riders and horses.

Racing Victoria said in a statement: "It is with tremendous sadness that Racing Victoria (RV) and the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) confirm the passing of 34-year-old jockey Dean Holland as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at Donald Racecourse today. 

"Holland was one of two riders dislodged from their horse in the opening race. He was immediately attended to by on-course paramedics, however was unable to be saved due to the nature of his injuries.

"Jockey Alana Kelly, who was the other rider to fall in the incident, was cleared of any serious injuries. Both horses, Headingley and Time To Rumble, were unharmed.

"The race meeting was abandoned following the incident by order of RV Stewards who have also adjourned an inquiry into the incident to a date to be fixed."

RV Chief Executive, Andrew Jones, added: “On behalf of the Victorian racing industry, I would like to extend our prayers and heartfelt condolences to Dean’s partner Lucy, his children, his family, friends and colleagues on the incredibly sad news of his passing.

“It was a tragic accident at Donald today and we are all are deeply shocked and saddened that Dean has passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the fall.

“Dean was a gifted lightweight rider who won over 1000 races and was highly respected by his peers. He showcased his immense talent on the biggest stage last month when winning the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

“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.”

Support for Holland's Family

In the wake of this tragedy, the racing community has come together to support Holland's family, including his four young children. 

Fundraising efforts and charitable initiatives are being organized to provide financial assistance and emotional support during this difficult time.

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