The Australian horse racing industry is in shock with the news jockey Stathi Katsidis has been found dead in his home in Brisbane.
Katsidis was found by his fiance and pronounced dead after ambulance services were unable to revive him.
Rhianna Bull reports.
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Katsidis was found dead in the home he shared with his partner Melissa Jackson at Hendra on Brisbane’s northside this morning.
Her father, Tony Jackson, was shocked by his sudden passing.
Tony Jackson, Fiance’s Father: “I would have put him down to be a very healthy young man to me it’s a very sad and sudden shock.”
He says Katsidis was at the top of his game and focused on his upcoming ride in the Cox Plate this Saturday.
Tony Jackson, Fiance’s Father: “I was with Stathi last Thursday we were playing cricket with my children at home it was just another day in the office for Stathi.”
Mr Jackson says Katsidis and his daughter had been together for three years; staying strong through his recovery from a broken leg and well documented battles with drugs and alcohol.
Stathi Katsidis: “I’m going to be that committed that it’ll be years before you see me not turn up to the race day sick.”
Katsidi’s friends and colleagues are struggling to come to terms with the loss.
Rob Heathcote, Trainer: “The insanity of it all you know someone that’s got so much to live for is now gone.”
Bobby El-issa, Jockey: “I still haven’t quite come to terms with it. It’s going to be quite a shock to the racing world. Stathi was loved by who ever came into contact with the bloke.”
The jockey was at the peak of his career riding the winner of this year’s Magic Millions, Military Rose.
Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: “Stathi is someone who is, well known, as I understand well-loved and he’ll be sadly missed.”
A post-mortem investigation will be conducted although, at this stage, police believe self-harm is not a factor in the jockey’s death.
In his last blog post, Katsidis wrote: ‘the last fourteen months have been a massive transformation for me and it’s taken me to the next level of my riding career.’
A career tragically cut short.
Rhianna Bull, Qut News.