The well-known and successful Australian jockey Dean Holland fell from his horse during a horse race in the state of Victoria on Monday and succumbed to his injuries on the spot. “It is with great sadness” that the Australian’s death was confirmed, the racing authority Racing Victoria said on Twitter. According to media reports, paramedics had previously tried in vain to revive the father of four.

Holland, 34, was sprinting towards the finish line in the opening race at Donald Racecourse northwest of Melbourne when his horse Headingley suddenly spun and crashed into the inside lane, news channel ABC reported. A female jockey, Alana Kelly, was also involved in the incident but she was able to get up. Both horses were therefore unharmed. The fall is now to be investigated.

According to the information, Holland started racing in 2005 and in 2006 got his first win. After that he won more than 1075 races all over Australia. “It was a tragic accident today and we are all very shocked and saddened that Dean has passed away,” the AP news agency quoted Racing Victoria chief executive Andrew Jones as saying.

He described Holland as a talented rider. “Dean was a gifted lightweight rider who won over 1000 races and was highly respected by his peers,” he said. “Dean’s death breaks the heart of everyone in Victoria racing and the sport as a whole.” Matt Hyland, chief executive of the Victorian Jockeys Association, said he was “endlessly saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend”.

According to statistics from the National Jockeys Trust, a charity that helps injured and ill jockeys, more than 880 jockeys have died in falls since racing began in Australia in 1847. In addition, around 200 riders are injured every year.