Italian jockey dead at 23 after Canberra racing accident

Noah Strang
Noah Strang
Tamworth Racecourse 26/04/24
Stefano Cherchi, 23, passed away on Thursday, say his family.

Jockey Stefano Cherchi passed away on Thursday, according to a statement from his family. The Italian had been involved in a crash at the Thoroughbred Park racetrack in Canberra on March 20. The 23-year-old was one of three jockeys who were dislodged from their mounts during the tragic accident in Canberra. 

News Insights

  • Stefano Cherchi passed away on Thursday, say his family.
  • Cherchi was involved in an accident on March 20 in Canberra.
  • A memorial will be held at All Saints Catholic Church, 48 George St, Liverpool NSW at 10.30am on Monday, April 8.

Family makes tragic announcement 

Early on Thursday, the New South Wales Jockeys association revealed that Stefano Cherchi’s family had announced that the 23-year-old jockey had died.  
The NSW Jockeys statement read “With deep sadness, the Cherchi family have announced their beloved son Stefano passed away peacefully today. The family are very grateful for the love, prayers & messages sent by the racing community across the world.” 
Cherchi was injured during a race on March 20 at a race in Canberra. He was one of three jockeys injured during the race, but he was the only one seriously injured.  
The 23-year-old’s mount fell around the 800m mark of the race, causing Cherchi, Jeff Penza, and Shaun Guymer to be dislodged from their horses Hasime, Epic Statement, and Dunjenni, respectively. All three horses avoided injury.  
Cherchi was put in a medically induced coma following the incident.  

Peter V’Landys’ comments 

Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’Landys responded to the terrible news on Thursday, saying “The tragic passing of Stefano Cherchi at such a young age is extremely sad and words can’t describe the deep sorrow our industry is feeling.” 
Stefano was extremely popular amongst his peers and it will be hard for them to come to terms with his tragic passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and as part of the racing family we will do everything we can to support them in their immense grief,” V’Landys said. 

Memorial to be held on April 8 

The NSW horse racing community will honour Cherchi at a memorial service on April 8 at All Saints Catholic Church located at 48 George St, Liverpool NSW. The event will be held at 10.30am.  
Cherchi began riding in Australia just earlier this year. He was based out of Warwick Farm. He had ridden two winners in his short time horse racing in Australia.  
Marco Botti, an Italian horse trainer based in the UK who mentored Cherchi, has set up a GoFundMe to support the fallen jockey’s family.