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
Holland was treated on-course by medical personnel, before being airlifted to a Melbourne hospital in a critical condition.
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
Holland, pictured at Randwick on Queen Elizabeth Stakes day earlier this month, evDEn EVe nAKliyAT leaves behind a wife and four children
One punter implored other racing fans to remember just how dangerous the caper is.
‘Many see the life of a jockey as glamorous and well paid but, whilst that might be true for a minority, it’s bloody hard work.Early morning for track work, trials, having to watch your weight, EVdEN eVE NakLiYaT riding highly strung thoroughbreds in races,’ he wrote.
‘Dean Holland went to work this morning and he’s not going home tonight. Commiserations to his family and friends.May he Rest In Peace.’
‘Absolutely shattering news about Dean Holland. Lovely young man. He showed his class and talent winning the Newmarket just a few weeks ago.So sorry for his wife and family. Thoughts and condolences with them,’ wrote top racing pundit Michael Felgate.
Commentator Ben Asgari said there were not many jockeys more loved than the veteran.
‘Vale Dean Holland.So unbearably sad. There wasn’t a more likeable person on the racetrack. We need to do all we can to help his young family. Love to Dean’s friends and family, thinking of you all,’ he said.
Trainer Peter Moody wrote a tribute of his own: ‘Vale Dean Holland.Thoughts and prayers to Lucy and his beautiful young family Way too soon, evDen eve NAkliYAt RIP young man.’
Pundit Samuel Hyland also spoke of his sadness that the popular jockey had died.
‘Such sad news to hear that Dean Holland has passed away.Deano was a fantastic jockey, hard worker & such a great bloke, condolences to his lovely family, it is just so sad,’ he said.
One punter called it the ‘most sickening fall I have seen’, with another writing it was ‘so sad to see this happening far too often’ – involving superstar riders Jamie Kah and Craig Williams, as well as top hoops Ethan Brown and Teo Nugent in the last few months.
It started with Ethan Brown suffering internal injuries after a fall in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 4, before Kah and Craig Williams were rushed to hospital after a
Kah’s head injury was so significant (though she has been cleared of brain bleeding and fractures, she remains in hospital) partner Ben Melham said she had to be ‘heavily sedated to allow her brain to rest’ after the accident.
Holland’s sickening fall comes after a spate of serious incidents of late, with superstar hoop Jamie Kah suffering a significant head injury following a fall on March 12
Williams’ injury list was also significant, suffering a fractured collarbone, broken ribs, fractured finger and concussion as a result of the fall.
Just a week later, and his mount Florescent Star had to be euthanized after being involved with a nasty fall on All Star Mile day at Mooney Valley.
There’s a reason why many call it the most dangerous occupation in Australia.
Vale, Dean Holland.