March 21, 2023

Horse racing: Japanese jockey Taiki Yanagida dies following tragic fall in Cambridge – New Zealand Herald

Taiki Yanagida. Photo / Photosport. co. nz

Jockey Taiki Yanagida has died within Waikato Hospital from injuries suffered in a horse racing fall at Cambridge last Wednesday.

The 28-year-old jockey had his mother Kayano and one of his two sisters Chiaki by his side when he died on Tuesday. They had rushed from Japan last Thursday to be with Taiki, who suffered brain and spinal cord damage within the accident.

He was placed in an induced coma straight after the incident and never regained consciousness.

If he had, the damage to his spinal cord was so severe it was highly unlikely this individual would have walked again.

Yanagida has been riding maiden horse Te Atatu Pash in the particular last race of the Cambridge synthetic track meeting last Wed when their mount had been checked plus fell.

Yanagida’s riding helmet came off in the drop and he was partially rolled upon by his own mount but was also galloped on by a following horse, who within the split-second incident could not have avoided him and struck him heavily within the back.

The accident stunned racing industry participants, particularly the particular very close-knit ranks of professional jockeys, with Yanagida the first jockey to die in a race fall in New Zealand since Rebecca Black at Gore in December, 2016.

Yanagida, known to almost everybody in the racing industry as Tiger, was born plus raised in Japan and didn’t start riding until he was 18, firstly in Australia before moving in order to New Zealand.

He recent told race publication Raceform his mom had initially been against him becoming a jockey.

“I wanted to try plus become a jockey but my Mum didn’t agree, she said I must to go to university first, ” Taiki said within June.

“I completed one year at university before We said I was going to Australia in order to train to be a jockey. ”

Yanagida then spoke associated with his mother’s fears for him in his chosen career, fears that have so tragically become reality.

Taiki Yanagida. Photo /
Taiki Yanagida. Photo / Photosport. co. nz

“Now my mother is happy for me, she knows I am doing what I always desired to, but she still worries about me and is usually going to the temple to pray for the luck and safety, inch he said just two months ago.

Yanagida moved in order to New Zealand and developed his craft working for top Matamata trainers Andrew Scott and Lance O’Sullivan, the particular latter one of New Zealand’s all-time champion jockeys.

O’Sullivan said the news was heart-breaking with regard to those who knew Yanagida but will be felt throughout the racing business not only in New Zealand and Japan but beyond.

“He has been a good young man, very dedicated to his career, ” said O’Sullivan.

“He had to be because he was quite tall regarding a jockey so had to work hard to keep their weight under control yet that became his other passion, being a fitness fanatic so he could keep as being a jockey.

“He wasn’t a natural jockey when he 1st came to us but worked so hard he or she got better and much better.

“It is a very sad day for everybody that knew your pet and the racing industry. inch

One of Yanagida’s closest friends was fellow Japanese apprentice jockey Yuto Kumagai, who else Yanagida’s experienced helped mentor since Kumagai arrived in Brand new Zealand.

“He was a very special friend and he told me a few weeks ago he wished to help me personally become the leading apprentice this season, ” said Kumagai.

“He loved riding plus worked so hard to stay fit therefore can be better at it. He always wanted to improve.

“It is very, very sad. We are really sad. inch

Yanagida was a single guy with no children who O’Sullivan says had been unfailingly polite.

“These days it is rare for an apprentice to stay along with the same trainers right through their apprenticeship because it is so easy once they start riding winners in order to go somewhere where they don’t have to do the particular stable work, just ride trackwork and in races.

“But Taiki stayed with us all the way through. He wanted to work hard and do the right thing. That is what sort of young man this individual was. ”

Yanagida’s race manager Ted McLachlan got been with him and his family at the hospital each day and was devastated simply by his death.

“He has been such the wonderful young man it really is a tragedy and therefore hard to watch what their mother and sister here have had in order to go via, ” stated McLachlan.

“This will really hurt the other individuals in the industry because Taiki had been so popular. inch

Yanagida acquired his personal best season last racing term, driving 42 winners including three black type successes, which are in racing highest levels.

This individual sacrificed his goal associated with winning 50 races for the season to fly home to The japanese for the first time in four years in order to see their family for a month within June, only returning to New Zealand mid-July.

Yanagida rode 162 winners in his New Zealand profession and while those numbers are testament to his work ethic those who met and worked alongside Yanagida will not remember him intended for his racetrack victories.

They will keep in mind a polite, happy, devoted young man who was willing to leave his home country to chase his dream of becoming a jockey.

Taiki achieved their dream plus that can never be taken away from him.

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