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Jockey Taiki Yanagida Dies at Age 28 After Being Trampled During Race

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Japanese jockey Taiki Yanagida died Tuesday after he fell off his horse and was trampled at New Zealand's Cambridge Jockey Club on Aug. 3, per Michael Guerin of the New Zealand Herald.

He was 28.

Yanagida was placed in an induced coma at the Waikato Hospital following the accident because he suffered brain and spinal injuries. However, he never regained consciousness.

According to Guerin, Yanagida's horse, Te Atatu Pash, was checked and he fell to the track where his helmet fell off and his horse partially fell on him. A horse behind him then trampled him while he was on the ground, unable to avoid him.

His mother and one of his sisters were able to travel from Japan to be with him at the hospital.

Yanagida, nicknamed Tiger, had become a jockey at 18, starting in Australia before moving to New Zealand.

"He was such a wonderful young man, it really is a tragedy and so hard to watch what his mother and sister here have had to go through," his racing manager, Ted McLachlan, told Guerin. "This will really hurt the other people in the industry because Taiki was so popular."

Te Akau Racing @TeAkauRacing

Oh Taiki how everyone’s hearts are hurting so badly with the news we have lost you - we all know our industry is one where our people face danger every day - this hurts so badly, us all - so much love to his mother & sister & family & friends - tears in heaven in today 💔💔

Mark Nowell Racing @MarkANowell

Very sad to hear the news Taiki Yanagida passed away at Waikato Hospital from a race fall at Cambridge last Wed.<br>Here are photos I took of Taiki winning earlier on the day.<br>So sad 💔 RIP Taiki. <a href="https://t.co/3OODjJJyqn">pic.twitter.com/3OODjJJyqn</a>

"He was a good young man, very dedicated to his career," Matamata trainer Lance O'Sullivan added. "He had to be because he was quite tall for a jockey so had to work hard to keep his weight under control but that became his other passion, being a fitness fanatic so he could keep being a jockey. He wasn't a natural jockey when he first came to us but worked so hard he got better and better. It is a very sad day for everybody who knew him and the racing industry."

Yanagida rode 162 winners during his racing career in New Zealand.

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