The racing community is in shock at the death of Group 1-winning jockey Dean Holland following a tragic race accident in rural Victoria.
Dean Holland, the jockey who won the Newmarket Handicap, unfortunately, passed away on Monday (April 24) in Victoria following an unexpected fall.
The 34-year-old experienced a tumble that witnesses described as “sickening” while riding Tony McEvoy’s gelding Headingley in the opening race at Donald, 280 km northwest of Melbourne.Holland was knocked to the ground as the three-year-old gelding suddenly slipped to the inside rail and fell as the field turned for home at the top of the straight.
As Holland laid on the ground motionless, Alana Kelly’s horse Time to Rumble and another horse tripped over the debris and fell on Holland with all of their force and weight. While both mounts seemingly escaped the incident unscathed, Holland suffered critical injuries and was rushed to a hospital in Melbourne, where he died from his injuries.
Racing Victoria announced the death of Holland with a statement shared on Twitter.
‘It is with tremendous sadness that Racing Victoria and the Victorian Jockeys Association confirm the passing of 34-year-old jockey Dean Holland as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at Donald Racecourse today,’ the post read.
Dean Holland Death Cause – How Did Dean Holland Die?
Dean Holland passed away on Monday (April 24) following a horrible fall at Donald. The event happened during the first race at Donald, which is located in Victoria’s northwest, as the field turned for home.
At about 1.30 pm on Monday, Dean Holland was involved in a two-horse fall after his mount, three-year-old gelding Headingley, fell at the top of the home straight at Donald.
Holland was treated by paramedics but sadly passed away at the scene, according to Victoria Police.
“Work Safe has been notified and will investigate. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”, Victoria Police says. Police will also prepare a report for the coroner.
The remaining races of Monday’s meeting were canceled by the stewards.
He is survived by a wife and four children.
Who was Dean Holland?
Dean Holland, who was fourth in the Victorian jockeys’ premiership standings, had ridden 82 wins in Victoria. Surprise Baby’s victory in the 2019 Adelaide Cup was a career highlight. Holland, who is originally from Adelaide, is Darren Holland’s son, a former jockey. He leaves behind his wife Lucy and four kids, all under the age of five.
He started his career in December 2005 on a dusty track at Ceduna, South Africa, and saw his first victory there in January 2006.
Dean Holland won more than 1100 races. Holland comes from one of the most prestigious racing families in South Australia, where his father Darren rode more than 600 winners in his professional career.
Holland also worked with Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes while serving as an apprentice to South Australian trainer Jon O’Connor. Holland had just won the renowned Newmarket Handicap group one race, and he was in the prime of his career. He was brought in after Craig Williams and Jamie Kah, two other jockeys, suffered injuries in the same incident at Flemington earlier in the day.
Prior to Monday, he rode on Saturday in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes at Morphettville, where he finished fourth on Seradess. He was described as a lovable person and the shining star. He had a beautiful smile and he was loved by eveyone.
Holland’s colleagues’ riders joined him in celebrating since the lightweight jockey was well-liked by everyone in the racing industry. His kind disposition and diligent work ethic made him a favorite of both his fellow jockeys and trainers.
His friends and family members were in shock after the sudden demise of Holland broke out.
Tributes flooded social media after the sudden demise news of Holland was made public.
The CEO of Racing Victoria, Andrew Jones paid his tributes to Mr Holland’s family, friends, and colleagues.
“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’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.”, he added.
In a statement shared on Racing Victoria’s website, Holland’s family expressed their grief ‘after losing our beloved Dean.’
‘We are aware of thousands who are sharing our pain as we come to the reality we have lost a once in a lifetime person, a much loved partner, an amazing father of four beautiful young children in Harley, Luca, Frankie and Lily, as well as a special brother and a wonderful son.
‘The outpouring of love for Dean and the care and support for us is helping us deal with our loss.’
The family also asked for privacy as they process the loss. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Holland’s wife and his 4 children.