Teenage apprentice jockey dies: second death in two days

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  • A teenage jockey has died after falling in a race at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in the USA.

    17-year-old apprentice jockey Juan Saez suffered a severe head trauma in the accident yesterday (Tuesday 14 October).

    Juan’s horse, four-year-old Montezuma Express, reportedly clipped heels with the horse ahead of him and fell. The horse was put down as a result of his injuries.

    The ninth and final race of the evening was cancelled.

    The young rider was airlifted to Methodist Hospital after the race at around 5.40pm.

    Marion County’s chief deputy coroner Alfarena Ballew told the Indianapolis Star that he died later that night.

    “Juan was such a talented and sweet kid, with a promising future,” said John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockey’s Guild.  “It is like losing a member of the family. We are competing against one another on the track, but off of the track, we are all very close.”

    Juan, who was from Panama, was the younger brother of jockey Luis Saez. Juan started race-riding in June and had ridden 89 winners.

    Juan is the second jockey to have died in two days. Yesterday (14 October) the Australian racing industry was in mourning after Carly-Mae Pye died due to a fall during a barrier trial at a Queensland racecourse on Monday (13 October).

    The jockey had been in an induced coma in Rockhampton Base Hospital, but today Racing Queensland’s Darren Condon said she was “unable to recover from her injuries”.

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