Racing World Mourns Loss Of Australian Jockey Dean Holland

Deputising for Jamie Kah, Holland won the Mar. 11 G1 Newmarket H. aboard In Secret | Bronwen Healy

By Trent Masenhelder, TDNAus/NZ

The racing community is in mourning following the tragic news that much-loved jockey Dean Holland passed away on Monday.

The 34-year-old was involved in a fall during the opening race at Donald in country Victoria on Monday and died later that day.

Holland fell when his mount, the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Headingley (Aus), who was racing in second place, clipped the heels of the leader Kumicho (Aus) as the runners turned for home in Race 1. Fellow jockey Alana Kelly was dislodged from her mount Time To Rumble (Aus), but was uninjured.

Holland was treated by paramedics on course and an air ambulance was dispatched, however, he could not be saved.

In a statement, Victoria Police said: “Police will prepare a report for the coroner following the death of a jockey in Donald on Apr. 24. The male was riding in a race at a track on Racecourse Road when he fell around 1.30pm. He was worked on by paramedics but sadly died at the scene. Work Safe have been notified and will investigate. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Holland was married to Lucy and is a father to four children.

He won two Group 1s–the first coming in the 2010 Australasian Oaks aboard Small Minds (Aus) for trainer John Thompson. The biggest moment of his professional career took place just last month, with Holland called up late to replace Jamie Kah aboard In Secret (Aus) in the G1 Newmarket H. Holland wasn't overawed by the occasion and guided the star filly to a dominant victory, earning the praises of Godolphin Australia's head trainer James Cummings.

“I ran into Wayne Hawkes and he said to me, 'Don't you worry, you'll be fine with Dean Holland' and he rode the filly perfectly,” Cummings said post-race.

“I was so pleased for him. Didn't he do a good job? I'm very proud of him.”

Following Holland's death, Godolphin's Managing Director, Vin Cox told TDN AusNZ: “It's quite hard to put into words just how devastated we are hearing about this tragedy.

“He was a gifted horseman, but most importantly, a principled young man of the highest quality.

“We are absolutely gutted at Godolphin to hear this news and will do everything we can, with the racing community, to support Lucy and his beautiful young family.”

Holland rode 43 winners for top country trainer Paul Preusker and together they won the G2 Adelaide Cup in 2019 with Surprise Baby (NZ).

“It's an awful shock, I can't believe this has happened,” Preusker told TDN AusNZ.

“He was a champion bloke with a beautiful heart.”

Another Group 1-winning jockey, Dean Yendall, rode against Holland regularly and was a good mate of his.

Like many, Yendall was distraught when speaking to TDN AusNZ on Monday afternoon.

“All I can really say about this is why him? He was such a lovely person. I've known him from day one, even before he even started riding, when he was going to the races with his dad Darren,” Yendall said.

“He's gone and left a young family without a father and husband to his wife Lucy.”

Holland commenced race riding in his native South Australia in December 2005 and piloted his first winner at Ceduna (Aus) on Jan. 14, 2006. He went on to ride more than 1075 career winners with those victories predominantly coming in Victoria and South Australia, along with the Northern Territory and Tasmania. His last visit to the winner's circle was Apr. 20 at Ararat, where he rode a double.

Holland was enjoying a stellar season, with 82 winners in Victoria, which was good enough for fourth on the Victorian Jockeys' Premiership Table.

Racing Victoria (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 1000 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.”

Victorian Jockeys' Association (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.”

RV and the VJA are working together to support the Holland family, the racing community and industry employees with counselling and support.

Members of the Australian racing industry are encouraged to utilise the free, confidential counselling service STABLELINE on 1300 530 122 if they are in need of support at this tragic time.

RV, following consultation with the VJA, has determined that Tuesday's ANZAC Day race meetings at Flemington and Moe will not proceed as programmed out of respect to Dean and the Holland family.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for Holland's family.




Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Caramel Swirl Wins Gallant Bloom S. After Double Disqualification
  2. American Champion Modern Games To Stand At Dalham Hall Next Year
  3. Bloom, McLoughlin Join Tattersalls, McKibbin Promoted
  4. Making Waves: A Masterful 56 For Dubawi
  5. Frankel's Sapphire Seas Takes The John Musker

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.