Jockeys across the country have paid tribute to two of their colleagues who have died from falls in the past week.
A ceremony was held before the first race at Randwick in Sydney on Saturday to remember Queensland rider Carly-Mae Pye and South Australian apprentice Caitlin Forrest.
Pye, 26, died when her horse broke down in a jump-out at Rockhampton on Monday.
Forrest, 19, suffered fatal injuries in a four-horse fall at Murray Bridge on Wednesday.
Three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss gave an emotional post-race tribute to Forrest after winning the Moonga Stakes on Caulfield Cup Day.
Jockeys in Melbourne and South Australia wore light blue armbands, which was Forrest’s favourite colour.
“That one is for Caitlin,” he said.
Boss’ voice was breaking as he described the youngster as a “naturally gifted rider”.
“The first time I saw her get in the saddle I said `she’s the one. She’s the pick of the bunch’,” said Boss.
“She could’ve been a great athlete in our industry and to be taken like that, from us like that, is very painful.”
Black armbands have been worn at race meetings elsewhere around the country. The Ricky Vale-trained Shepiktus won a race held in Pye’s honour in Rockhampton on Saturday.
Zaha Express, Pye’s last winner who is trained by her partner Tim Cook, was the sentimental favourite but could only finish sixth in the hands of her close friend Tracy O’Hara.
Australian Jockeys’ Association chief executive officer Paul Innes laid wreaths for the women at the recently unveiled Royal Randwick memorial dedicated to fallen jockeys.
“It’s hard to believe just a few short weeks ago we unveiled this. It’s not what you want so soon,” Innes said.
He said this week was a sad reminder of the risks riders take every day on racetracks.
Libby Hopwood is another rider who went down in Forrest’s race.
She suffered a broken collarbone, bruised brain and fractured spine in the accident, but considers herself lucky to walk away.
American apprentice Juan Saez also lost his life in a fall in Indiana earlier this week.
Jockeys in Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have paused at race meetings in the past few days to pay tribute to the three riders.