8 April 2024

Jockey Stefano Cherchi dies two weeks after Canberra horse race fall

| Claire Fenwicke
Stefano Cherchi

Jockey Stefano Cherchi has died as a result of injuries suffered during a Canberra race. Photo: Facebook / Annabel Neasham Racing.

Italian jockey Stefano Cherchi has died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall during a recent Canberra horse race at Thoroughbred Park.

The 23-year-old was one of three jockeys who fell from their horses during the class 1 plate (1600 metres) event on 20 March.

The other two jockeys were able to walk away without sustaining serious injury and the three horses involved were cleared of serious injury.

Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Darren Pearce said the community’s “hearts are broken” for both Stefano and his loved ones.

“He was a highly respected young man with immense talent,” he said.

“The well wishes and commentary from both sides of the globe speak volumes of his character and popularity within our industry.

“We will be offering support to riders, staff, family and friends in the wake of what is a deeply tragic accident. We encourage anyone in need to reach out to us.”

Stefano’s family had travelled from Italy after the incident to be by his side.

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Stefano travelled to Newmarket in England at 16 and became an apprentice to Marco Botti.

During his six years in Newmarket, he rode more than 100 winners.

Stefano had only relocated to Australia four months ago to work with the Annabel Neasham stable at Warwick Farm.

He rode 25 races in Australia, winning two of them.

His last winner was on Flying Bat at Gosford on 16 March.

The Canberra Racing Club is liaising with Stefano’s family before confirming how they will honour his memory, but a memorial mass is being held in Sydney later this month.

“Racing is a sport of soaring highs and sadly, at times, devastating lows,” Mr Pearce said.

“We are feeling the pain of Stefano’s loss to our very core and are grateful that our industry rallies in dark times to support those who need it, and we are now focused on those support efforts.”

A memorial mass for Stefano will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, 8 April, at All Saints Catholic Church, 48 George St, Liverpool.

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