Female jockey dies at 21 suffering fatal injuries from catastrophic race fall

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Horse Racing is in mourning following the tragic death of 21-year-old jockey Eszter Jeles after a catastrophic mid-race fall.

The talented rider passed away in hospital 13 days after being brought down while representing her native Hungary in a race in Turkey.

Jeles was taken to hospital with head injuries after falling off her mount Toms on September 5 and underwent surgery a day later.

Her sad passing was confirmed late on Saturday, almost two weeks after the fatal fall.

A Turkey Jockey Club statement read: "Hungarian lady rider Eszter Jeles fell from the horse named Toms in Fegentri World Championship Race for Lady Riders on Sunday, September 5 at the Veliefendi Racecourse in Istanbul.

"Following the accident, she was immediately taken to hospital for treatment.

"Following her health checks, she underwent an operation on Monday, September 6 and her treatment continued.

"We are deeply sorry to learn that Eszter Jeles lost her 13-day struggle to survive and lost her life despite all efforts of the medical teams since the first day.

"We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Jeles family and her loved ones.

"May God rest her soul in peace."

A statement from the Hungarian Jockey club said: "We announce with deep pain and a shaky heart that Eszter Jeles is dead.

"Her body was unable to overcome the injury caused by the accident two weeks ago.

"Esti was a hero, giving her life for horse racing. We lock your memory in our hearts forever."

Jockeys and stable staff paid their respects to Jeles at Veliefendi racecourse on Sunday, and a minute's silence was observed.

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The jockey's mother Andrea attended the event and made an emotional speech to the crowd: "It is very difficult to describe the emotions we experience.

"Eszter specifically chose Turkey for horse riding. Years ago, in a post she made on her social media account, she said, ‘If I die one day because of my passion for speed, don’t be sad because I will be laughing at that time’.

"We are grateful to everyone who took care of us, especially the Jockey Club of Turkey, and we will never forget your support."

Jeles had been taking part in the Longines-sponsored World Championship series when the tragic incident occurred.

She won a race earlier on the card and was poised to strike with her second ride when disaster struck just before the rider's turned for home.

The horse in front of Jeles' – Out Of The Dark ridden by Trace Menuer – fell unimpeded which brought down Jelles and her horse Toms.

Racing fans paid their respect to the up-and-coming rider upon learning of her death.

One wrote: "Absolutely heartbreaking news. Sending deepest condolences to all of the family and friends of Eszti and to the Hungarian Amateur Riders Club. We will never forget you Eszti! Rest in Peace."

While another said: "So very tragic, thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. Such a short life. RIP. Shine bright up among the stars."

  • Horse racing

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