Australia’s horse racing community is in shock after two jockeys died in two days.
Melanie Tyndall, 32, who is also a police officer, had been riding at Fannie Bay, Darwin, died on Saturday after a fall.
She was transported to Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition but tragically died after arriving on Saturday night.
It comes just a day after apprentice jockey Mikaela Claridge died from injuries suffered in a trackwork accident in Victoria.
The Australian Jockeys Association CEO, Martin Talty, said the small Northern Territory racing community is reeling over the death of Tyndall.
“We will offer support to everyone who needs it here in the Northern Territory.”
Tyndall, 32, fell off her horse after clipping heels with another runner at the 300-metre mark during the third race at Darwin’s Fannie Bay racecourse on Saturday.
She received immediate treatment from on-track paramedics but later died at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
Tyndall, originally from Murray Bridge in South Australia, moved to Darwin in late 2012 to further her racing career with trainer Michael Hickmott.
Hickmott paid tribute to Tyndall on social media, saying “if people only knew the hurdles you conquered in your life to make what you did of yourself. We were all so proud of what you achieved. You defied the odds,” he said.
In 2017, Tyndall took a break from racing to train as a police cadet. She returned to racing on a part-time basis last year and won her 150th race just a fortnight ago at the Katherine Cup.
Her death came less than 48 hours after Mikaela Claridge died after a track work fall in Cranbourne, Victoria.
The Australian Jockeys Association chairman, Des O’Keeffe, said Claridge’s fall was also one that at first seemed simple.
“Mikaela and another rider, Jamie, were trotting on the sand trails,” he said. “Something spooked the horses and both riders came off. Jamie got up and she expected Mikaela to get up.”
Claridge was inducted into RV’s Apprentice Jockey Training Programme in 2015 but a back injury interrupted her career and saw her put her racing dreams on hold.
She returned to riding in 2017 and made her racing debut at Wangaratta in August 2018, coming in second.
Claridge won her first race in September last year.
O’Keeffe said the AJA and other authorities were there to offer support and counselling to any racing participant, not just riders.