Jockey Megan Taylor dead aged 26: Tragic rider part of awful four-horse fall as tributes pour in for ‘beautiful soul’
JOCKEY Megan Taylor has tragically died aged 26 after being caught in a devastating four-horse fall.
Reports say the apprentice rider had fallen off her mount when another horse struck her as she lay on the track.
Racing is in mourning following the tragic death of jockey Taylor aged just 26
The jockey had been riding Red Orchid in a race at Ashburton racecourse in New Zealand on Thursday.
She was pronounced dead ‘soon after’ according to the New Zealand Herald and other riders were informed of the heartbreaking news.
The rest of the meeting was abandoned as tributes started to pour in.
One of Taylor’s friends, Alex Coleman, said: “I’m not sure anyone is going to be able to find the words to describe how tragic the loss of Megan is.
“She was such a beautiful soul that was loved by so many and the shock of her being taken so tragically and so young is completely numbing.
“From riding at Belfast pony club to talking each other through moving across the world. She was a special one.
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“She was so good at bringing an energy to whatever room she walked into and her fun-loving spirit will be sorely missed.”
Another close pal Leah Reuben wrote on Facebook: “My heart hurts hearing this horrible news.
“You were such a beautiful soul and best friend to my sister. I love you.”
While the country’s racing minister Kieran McAnulty said: “I’m incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of jockey Megan Taylor during a race this afternoon.
“I want to pass on my deepest sympathies to Megan’s family and friends, and to all of those in the industry who worked alongside her and knew her.”
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing CEO Bruce Sharrock said: “I’m incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of jockey Megan Taylor during a race.
“I want to pass on my deepest sympathies to Megan’s family and friends, and to all of those in the industry who worked alongside her and knew her.
“Our deepest sympathies are with Megan’s family, friends, and others in the racing community who have worked closely with Megan.
“We will look to support them in any way possible in the coming days and weeks.
“We also will support the jockeys and others who were at the races today.”
David Walsh, who mentors young jockeys in New Zealand, said: “The death of Megan is just a terrible tragedy. She was such a lovely person and had progressed really well in her riding over the last 12 months.”
A spokesperson for the local ambulance service said: “Our Event Health Services team were already present at the racecourse for the event.
“We further responded to the incident with two ambulances and one operations manager.
“One patient was taken to Ashburton Hospital with moderate injuries.
“Two other patients with minor injuries were assessed and treated at the scene.”
Taylor is the second jockey to die during a race in New Zealand this year.
Japanese-born rider Taiki Yanagida passed away after suffering a horror mid-race fall in August.
Taylor was in her third season riding and had won 16 races.
In her final Instagram post, Taylor showed herself in full riding gear with a horse and wrote: “‘Do what you love, love what you do’ – Getting paid to cuddle animals daily… I can’t complain!”
More to follow.