Heartbroken family pays tribute to much-loved rider who died after fall

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  • The family of Dean Holland, the jockey who sustained fatal injuries in a racecourse fall, have paid tribute to a “once-in-a-lifetime” partner, father, brother and son.

    The 34-year-old died as a result of the injuries he suffered in a fall at Donald racecourse, Australia, yesterday (24 April).

    Lucy Clampin and Belinda and Darren Holland released a statement on their own and the wider Holland family’s behalf.

    “Grief is completely overwhelming us after losing our beloved Dean yesterday at Donald races,” they said.

    “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. We are thinking of Dean’s colleagues in the jockeys’ room as well as all in our industry that he loved so much.

    “Finally, as a family, we ask that we be given the privacy we need at this time as we begin to come to terms with our loss.”

    Racing Victoria (RV) and the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) had confirmed Dean Holland’s death, with “tremendous sadness”.

    “Holland was one of two riders dislodged from their horses in the opening race,” they said.

    “He was immediately attended to by on-course paramedics, however was unable to be saved due to the nature of his injuries.”

    Alana Kelly, the other rider to fall, was not seriously injured, and both horses, Headingley and Time To Rumble, were unharmed.

    Dean had been riding in races since 2005, his first winner coming weeks later. He went on to win 1,075 more races, including the Grade 1 Schweppes Oaks on Small Minds in 2010 and the Newmarket Handicap on In Secret last month. He also won the Adelaide Gold Cup on Tanby in 2015 and on Surprise Baby four years later. His last win was at Ararat on 20 April.

    RV chief executive Andrew Jones said: “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 and we are all 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 1,000 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.”

    RV and the VJA said they are working together to support Dean’s family.

    VJA chief executive Matt Hyland said: “The VJA and our members are incredibly saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend Dean Holland and extend our heartfelt condolences to his partner Lucy, his four children and his wider family.

    “Dean was a much-loved member of the riding group here in Victoria and when he travelled interstate, and his fellow riders will all be shattered at the shock news of his passing as we at the VJA are.

    “Together with Racing Victoria, the Jockey Assistance Program will be wrapping its arms around the riding group and will be working to support Lucy and the Holland family both now and importantly into the future.”

    A fundraising page has been set up to support Lucy and the children

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