Cranbourne Racecourse was the scene of tragedy this morning. File image: AAP/Vince Caligiuri
Cranbourne Racecourse was the scene of tragedy this morning. File image: AAP/Vince Caligiuri

Young apprentice jockey killed in ‘freak horrible accident’

A YOUNG female apprentice jockey has died after a tragic fall at Cranbourne Racecourse Friday morning.

The 22-year-old Clyde woman, who works for a prominent Cranbourne stable, was riding during routine trackwork when she fell at 4.35am.

It is understood that the circumstances of the fall were not unusual, and witnesses expected the rider to stand up and walk away.

Police say her death is not being treated as suspicious and will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Trackwork rider Molly Edwards said when she turned up at 4.45am she saw ambulances at the track.

"I could tell from the atmosphere something wasn't quite right," she said.

"We didn't understand the situation fully, didn't realise the severity obviously. We decided it was disrespectful to ride so we didn't ride or exercise any horses.

Onlookers were shocked by the young woman’s tragic death. Picture: Jason Edwards
Onlookers were shocked by the young woman’s tragic death. Picture: Jason Edwards

"They shut the tracks. Everyone was just in shock, completely eerie atmosphere here.

"It was horrible. People were crying, it was just so upsetting. For me, I'm a young girl too, that could happen to any of us.

"It's just so sad. Just complete freak horrible accident."

Racing Victoria corporate communications general manager Shaun Kelly confirmed the Cranbourne Training Centre incident Friday morning.

"Victoria Police and WorkSafe are on-site investigating the circumstances of the incident in which no other riders were injured," he said.

"Trackwork at the Cranbourne Training Centre was closed following the incident.

"RV, the Victorian Jockeys Association and the Cranbourne Turf Club are offering assistance to the family and local racing community at this tragic time."