HORSERACING is in shock as well as mourning after a jockey died in hospital three days after a horror fall.
Italian news agency Ansa reported that Polish rider Dominik Pastuszka, 35, passed away after the accident in Pisa, Italy.
His horse also lost its life as a result of the accident.
It follows the announcement of 25-year-old Keagan Kirkby passing away after being thrown from his horse at the Charing Racecourse in Kent.
On a dark weekend for the sport, Pastuszka is said to have been dismounted when his horse War Brave collided with an obstacle.
He was midway through the 3,500-metre fourth Oleandro Prize gallop race, at the San Rossore Hippodrome.
The experienced jockey, who lived in Italy, was taken to a hospital in Pisa.
Local media described him as being unconscious at the time, in a critical condition with serious head and chest injuries.
Doctors pronounced him dead three days later.
Pastuszka leaves a wife and daughter aged one and a half.
Most read in Horse Racing
He fell in a point-to-point meeting after his horse ran out by fence railings on the second circuit of the final race on Sunday.
The on-course medical team and an air ambulance crew tried to save him.
After Kirkby’s death was confirmed, Nicholls led the tributes, posting: “All at team Ditcheat are mortified. Thoughts with all his friends and family.
“He was passionate about his job and his riding and rode Afadil every day.”
The 61-year-old, whose legendary stables are at Ditcheat in Somerset, described Kirkby as “one of our best, hardworking lads”.
He added: “Life is so hard sometimes, winners totally insignificant compared to what has happened today.”
A spokesman for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund revealed just how promising Kirkby’s career had been.
They said: “Keagan was a respected member of the Paul Nicholls team, who joined in 2019 and who had been awarded employee of the month in December 2021.
“He was shortlisted for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards in the Rider/Groom category 2024.”
And British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington spoke of her organisation’s “devastation” at the “tragic news” of his death.
She said: “The entire Racing industry will be in mourning at the loss of someone so young and with such potential.
“The esteem in which he was held is clear from the fact that he was nominated for the Rider/Groom category of the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, and made it through to the final 10 in his category.
“The nomination spoke of Keagan’s qualities as a thoughtful rider who develops a personal bond with his horses, understands their characters and adapts his riding accordingly, as well as his affable, helpful nature and popularity on the yard.”
The tragic deaths highlight the incredibly dangerous nature of the sport.