Young jockey dies in trackwork fall at Cranbourne

Young jockey dies in trackwork fall at Cranbourne”

The recently married 22-year-old fell at Cranbourne Racecourse in Melbourne's south-east while completing trackwork shortly after 4.30am Friday.

"Mikaela was dislodged from her horse while riding on the sand trails on the southern side of the Training Centre at approximately 4:35 a.m".

Officials had called off Friday's Pakenham race meeting after the incident to give the industry a "chance to take a breath" and come together to reflect on the Ms Claridge's death.

"I know, 22, yeah you're a young lady but to us like she was just part of the family".

Racing Victoria made the decision to cancel the program after consultation with the Victorian Jockeys' Association, saying their focus was on the jockey's family and the welfare of participants. And the most magical day imaginable to marry my dream husband, ' she wrote, accompanied with wedding photos.

Racing Victoria (RV) has issued a statement confirming a jockey "tragically passed away" following the incident at the Cranbourne Training Centre.

"Mikaela was a talented young rider who was pursuing a career in the sport she loved".

"RV and the VJA are providing counselling support to the rider's family, her colleagues and the racing community".

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After suffering from a back injury, her career as a jockey was put on hold, during which she chose to begin her studies in Primary Education.

Ms Claridge won her first race in September previous year.

Mikaela, who this year transferred her apprenticeship to trainer Ken Keys at Cranbourne, went on to win another 28 races during her short riding career, the most recent at Sale on 11 July 2019.

RV, the Cranbourne Racing Club and the Victorian Jockeys Association are offering assistance to the family and the local racing community.

Witnesses have told the Herald Sun that the atmosphere at the track was "completely eerie" and that "people were crying".

Many members of the racing community used Twitter to express their sorrow, including leading Sydney rider Tommy Berry.

"On behalf of the Club, I wish to extend our honest condolences to Mikaela's family and friends on her tragic passing".

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