‘Absolutely heartbreaking day’: Racing world mourns after Italian jockey dies two weeks after fall in Canberra

‘Absolutely heartbreaking day’: Racing world mourns after Italian jockey dies two weeks after fall in Canberra

Italian jockey Stefano Cherchi has died aged 23, two weeks after being hurt in a fall at race meet in Canberra.

Cherchi’s girlfriend Brittany, the daughter of former British jockey Kieren Fallon, had travelled to Australia to be at his bedside.

“With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today,” the New South Wales Jockeys Association wrote in a release.

“The family are very grateful for the love, prayers and messages sent by the racing community across the world.”

Cherchi was placed in intensive care with a serious head injury after his mount fell during a race at Canberra on March 20. His horse, Hasime, came down in an incident that involved two other horses.

While the other two riders and all of the horses avoided injury, Cherchi was attended to by medics on the track for about an hour before being taken to hospital.

Cherchi, who was based out of Warwick Farm, rode more than 100 winners in Britain before relocating to Australia at the start of the year.

“Today is an absolutely heartbreaking day for us all but Stefano will always be with us. His charming character and smile can never be forgotten,” trainer Marco Botti said.

“Our thoughts are with the Cherchi family and his close friends.”

The rider was “much loved and will be missed” the Professional Jockeys Association said.

“As well as being a gifted rider, Stefano was immensely popular in the weighing room due to his humility, kindness and sense of humour,” it said.

Leading jockey Hollie Doyle posted on X: “Stefano will be sorely missed, he was one of the good guys.”

The British Horseracing Authority said Cherchi was held in high esteem around the world.

“The entire racing industry will be in mourning after the loss of such a talented young man,” it added.

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