Well known jockey Ashlee Mundy has died in hospital from injuries sustained in a fall at the Kurow race meeting yesterday.
She is the first jockey to have died in New Zealand from injuries suffered in a race fall in nearly nine years.
Westport-born Mundy, 26, Mundy suffered head injuries when her mount, Elleaye, clipped the heel of the horse in front and fell approaching the 600-metre mark in the seventh race.
She was taken by helicopter to hospital in Dunedin in a critical condition.
New Zealand Jockeys’ Association president Dave Taylor expressed his sorrow on behalf of all jockeys.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident,” he said.
“All jockeys riding in race seven tomorrow, New Year’s Day, at the three meetings – Ellerslie, Hastings and Waikouaiti – will be wearing black arm-bands and there will be a minute’s silence on-course 20 minutes before the first race to mark her passing.”
The Racing Integrity Unit will be conducting a full review of the incident and will issue a report after interviewing all jockeys riding at Kurow.
The police, who attended the meeting, have also begun preparing a report on the incident.
The Health and Safety Department within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has been notified of the incident.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Greg Purcell said: “All our thoughts are with Ashlee’s family at this terrible time. This is a very sad day for them and for the wider racing community in New Zealand.”
Mundy was apprenticed to Michael Pitman in Christchurch on March 2, 2004, and rode her first winner the same year, on August 29, 2004, on Starkay at Oamaru.
She rode a total of 232 winners in New Zealand, including four black-type races.
She has been riding in Australia for the last few years and had ridden 43 winners in Queensland.
Her family lives in Westport and she had returned to New Zealand for a holiday and riding, Purcell said.
The last rider fatality on a race day was that of Sam McRae, who was involved in a fall at Riverton on March 26 ,2004.