Jockey dies after Darwin race fall

Policewoman and jockey Melanie Tyndall 32 has died following a race fall in Australia's Northern Territory

Policewoman and jockey Melanie Tyndall 32 has died following a race fall in Australia's Northern Territory

The close-knit Darwin racing community is trying to come to terms with the death of jockey Melanie Tyndall in a race fall at Fannie Bay racecourse.

Tyndall has been remembered as a "loving, caring and professional" police officer who was taken tragically "way before her time".

Her death came just a day after apprentice jockey Mikaela Claridge, 22, died after being thrown from her horse while training in Melbourne.

Melanie Tyndall had two earlier rides at Fannie Bay racecourse on Saturday finishing second in the opening event before riding the victor of the second race before the tragic fall in race three.

"I know that she believed she had the best of both worlds: serving the community with Darwin police, and also enjoying her passion of race riding and being involved back in the horse racing industry", he said.

She was rushed to hospital but medics could not save her, the Darwin Turf Club said in a statement.

Australian Jockeys Association boss Martin Talty said on Sunday the small NT racing community is reeling over the death of Tyndall.

Darwin Turf Club chairman Brett Dixon recognised horse racing as a "high-risk" sport.

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"This is an incredibly hard time for her partner, family, friends, colleagues and the wider police family", he said in a statement.

The acting NT police commissioner, Michael Murphy, assured Tyndall's partner and her father that the police family stood ready to help in whatever way they could.

"It is a sport that we all love, but sometimes it can be so cruel, and we've seen that in the last 24 to 48 hours", Mr Talty said.

"And it's a sport that we all love, and when something like this happens, it's a community that is impacted not just in the Northern Territory, but Australia wide".

Tyndall, originally from Murray Bridge in South Australia, moved to Darwin in late 2012 to ride for trainer Michael Hickmott.

"Melanie had forged deep and strong ties in our small community and police are providing every possible support to her family."

"We all strive to the heights in our sports, and she certainly achieved that riding 150 winners". "You defied the odds", he said on Saturday.

Libby Hopwood, who retired after suffering brain injuries in a fall in which a rider was killed, tweeted: "Simply lost for words".

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