Rockhampton jockey Carly-Mae Pye dies

UPDATE 7PM:  Critically injured jockey Carly-Mae Pye died in Rockhampton Hospital late this afternoon. 

The 26-year-old has been in an induced coma in the Rockhampton Base Hospital with head and chest injuries suffered when her mount broke its front legs and rolled on her during a Callaghan Park jump-out track trial on Monday. 

Her family has told our reporters that Carly-Mae remains on life support at this time, but for organ donation purposes only.

Meanwhile, Racing Queensland chief executive Darren Condon released a statement offering his condolences.

"Carly-Mae was a true champion of our sport, who will be remembered as a brilliant horsewoman," Mr Condon said in the statement.  

"Racing Queensland offers its sincerest condolences to Carly-Mae's family and partner Tim Cook."

6:00 AM Tuesday October 14

SHE is fighting for her life, but doctors warn the outlook is grim for beloved Rockhampton horse rider Carly-Mae Pye.

Carly-Mae remains in a coma with "quite severe" injuries after a shock incident at Callaghan Park on Monday.

Queensland Racing chief Darren Condon fronted media at lunchtime today, to give an update on the rider's condition.

"She's still in a coma, she's still got quite severe injuries," he said.

"They're very severe and very grim.

"But she's still with us at the moment.

"All we can do is hope."

Mr Condon said Carly-Mae fell from the horse as it broke its two front legs. It has since been euthanised.


Queensland Racing chief Darren Condon pays tribute to Carly-Mae Pye, describing her as "part of the fabric" of racing
Queensland Racing chief Darren Condon pays tribute to Carly-Mae Pye, describing her as "part of the fabric" of racing


He paid tribute to the sparkling 26-year-old rider, describing her as "part of the fabric" of Queensland Racing and the hardest of workers.

"She's one of the salt-of-the-earth racing people," he said.

"She's probably one of the hardest working people in racing -- I don't think they work any harder than Carly-Mae.

"You wouldn't find a greater horsewoman anywhere in the state."

Mr Condon said the club appeared to have done everything right at the time of the incident, and it appeared to be a "sad occurrence" that involved nothing untoward.

He said there would, of course, be an investigation.

Counselling has also been offered to those who might need it.

Carly-Mae fighting for her life after horror accident

JOCKEY Carly-Mae Pye, 26, was in a critical condition clinging to life last night following a tragic accident at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park racecourse just before noon yesterday.

A champion equestrian rider and gifted jockey, Carly-Mae was speared head-first on to the racetrack and then crushed when the horse she was riding broke down and rolled on her.


Tributes flow as Carly-Mae Pye fights for her life

AS IT HAPPENED: Jockey critical after falling from horse at race track

Jockey Carly-Mae Pye
Jockey Carly-Mae Pye Chris Ison

"It happened just near the winning post. Carly-Mae was treated immediately by ambulance officers in attendance before two more ambulances with intensive care paramedics arrived. The officers treated Carly-Mae for about 45 minutes on the track," Collins said.

Amid the immediate sombre scenes which gripped those present at Callaghan Park, racing industry personnel were gutted by the accident.

These were exacerbated by the knowledge that the horse which Carly-Mae rode was being educated by her partner, Rockhampton trainer Tim Cook for its Mackay trainer John Manzelmann.

Emotions were almost at breaking point throughout the afternoon as Cook appealed on social media for prayers for Carly-Mae in her battle for life.

Regrettably, albeit unintentionally, on the same social network news had been wrongly circulated for some hours that Carly-Mae had passed away.

"Carly-Mae is still with us," a distressed Tim Cook said fighting back tears at 5pm.

"She is critical (in Rockhampton Hospital) but fighting. We can only hope and pray."

The eldest of four children, Carly-Mae honed her skills as a rider from the age of seven.

A role model for young riders, she rose through the ranks to become a state champion equestrian rider as well as being a champion female apprentice jockey of her era in Capricornia.

A look at the life and rides of Carly-Mae Pye (Open to fullscreen):


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Carly-Mae's life centres on horses and only this year she invested her savings from racing to purchase a property at Alton Downs.

Gaining a reputation for honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic, from her Alton Downs property Carly-Mae has not only educated young horses but also young riders.

"I want to give back to racing as it has been so good to me," she said at the time.

RACE DAY: Race 3, winners Vandalistic rode by Carly-Mae Pye at the Gladstone Turf Club, Ferguson Park, Dawson Highway, Gladstone. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer GLA080111RACE
RACE DAY: Race 3, winners Vandalistic rode by Carly-Mae Pye at the Gladstone Turf Club, Ferguson Park, Dawson Highway, Gladstone. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer GLA080111RACE Brenda Strong

Her latest protege, Rockhampton schoolgirl Zoe White, 16, owes her fledgling apprenticeship start in racing directly to Carly-Mae's tutoring.

Earlier at yesterday's barrier trials Carly-Mae displayed all her riding skills with a win aboard Touch'n'Go.

A true professional with a will to win, her natural exuberance, mirrored by a beaming smile greeted the horse's trainer Bob Sutton as Carly-Mae returned triumphant.

Following news of the seriousness of Carly-Mae's accident, as a mark of respect the Rockhampton Jockey Club's closed its offices mid afternoon.


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