Female jockey Desiree Gill dies after fall

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  • A 45-year-old Australian female jockey has died from head injuries sustained in fall during a race at the Sunshine Coast meeting on Saturday (8 November).

    Desiree Gill was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died the next day.

    She had spent more than 30 years in the industry and leaves behind her husband Barry Gill and two sons, aged 21 and 19.

    Mrs Gill had won the South-East Queensland Country premiership for the past 2 years. She recently celebrated 4 winners from 5 races at Bundaberg’s Melbourne Cup day meeting (5 November).

    Alongside her career as a jockey, she was also passionate about mentoring young riders.

    “Desiree was widely admired and loved for her passion for the racing industry and in particular, her commitment to developing the next generation of jockeys,” Racing Queensland said in a statement.

    “Desiree enjoyed a distinguished riding career spanning 30 years which included a period of employment with Racing Queensland mentoring and educating apprentice jockeys.”

    Her death comes just 3 months after Simone Montgomerie was killed during the final day of the Darwin’s Cup Carnival in Australia.

    Desiree’s husband, who is a trainer, was at the racecourse and saw his wife’s fall.

    “All the time we spent together, I really believe she prepared me for a moment like this,” Mr Gill told Australian media.

    “I was under so many instructions if different things were to happen to her.

    “It’s not something we spoke about all the time, but maybe once every 5 or 6 months over a quiet drink.

    “She was adamant with what she wanted to happen, and she didn’t want to be left alive with no quality of life. When Simone Montgomerie [passed], that was the last time we had that discussion.”

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