The racing fraternity is in shock following the death of a gifted 20-year-old jump jockey. The winner of four races, Tom Halliday sustained fatal injuries after being crushed in a fall from the Smith-trained Rush’n’run in the Lincolnshire track’s fifth race, an extended two-mile-one-furlong novice handicap hurdle, on Sunday.
Positioned towards the rear of the field, Halliday’s mount suddenly moved to the left on approaching the third-last hurdle, as if attempting to run out. Halliday endeavoured to correct his line but parted company with six-year old Rush’n’run when he ran to the left again. The horse subsequently lost his balance and fell heavily on the jockey.
News of Halliday’s tragic death has devastated the racing world. He is the first professional jump jockey to die in action in Britain since 1996 when Richard Davis failed to survive injuries obtained in a fall at Southwell.
Halliday rode his first winner at Wetherby on 26 December and had achieved three more victories by May this year when he won on Ding Dong Belle in a Hexham handicap hurdle.
Paul Struthers, Jockey Club spokesman, said: “The Jockey Club are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our condolences go out to Tom’s family”.