A jockey from New Zealand has died following a fall during a race.
Ashlee Mundy died in hospital after falling at Kurow racecourse, North Otago on Sunday (30 December).
The 26-year-old, who had ridden over 200 winners in New Zealand and 43 in Australia, was riding Elleaye when the horse clipped heels with another horse.
She fell into the path of oncoming horses. Ashlee was airlifted to hospital with serious head injuries and later died.
Ashlee was a freelance jockey at Gold Coast Turf Club and had just returned to New Zealand from Queensland, Australia a couple of weeks ago to ride and visit her family.
Australian trainer Bevan Laming, who Ashlee rode for, described her “loyal, hard-working and reliable”.
“She was a lovely person, really bubbly — she’ll be sadly missed,” he said.
“She was never frightened of anything. She was a very competent rider.”
And trainer Lisa Rae added: “She was just so kind to the animals. There wouldn’t be a morning she wouldn’t cuddle up to whatever horse she jumped on. It’s not just a job for her.
“I just can’t say enough about how lovely she is. She is one of the special people in racing.”
Police are investigating and The Racing Integrity Unit, which oversees racing in New Zealand, will carry out a review of the incident,
Fellow jockeys marked her death by wearing black armbands on Tuesday (1 January).
A funeral will be held in her hometown Westport tomorrow (4 January).