The 2013 Darwin Cup has been officially abandoned but not forgotten as it will go down in history in memory of jockey Simone Montgomerie who was tragically killed in a race fall on Cup day.
The Darwin Turf Club committee met today, a day after the close knit Darwin racing community was rocked when the young jockey received fatal injuries after falling from Riahgrand in the $35,000 Wolf Blass Lightning Plate (1000m) at Fannie Bay.
“The 2013 Darwin Cup will now be the legacy of one of the Territory’s most loved and respected jockeys,” said Chairman Brett Dixon.
The Darwin Turf Club has already started the support process and has established a fund for the family of Montgomerie and her five year old daughter, Kodah.
“The Darwin Turf Club (DTC) offers its deepest condolences to Simone’s family, and we have visited them this morning to offer our support at this most difficult time,” Dixon said.
Dixon also announced that the Northern Territory Government would donate $50,000 to the fund with the Darwin Turf Club also putting in the $200,000 prize money that was on offer for the Darwin Cup.
“The Office of the Chief Minister is generously kicking off the fund with a donation of $50 000. This is a wonderful show of support from the NT Government. In conjunction with the TRNT, the DTC has also decided to donate the $200 000 prize money initially allocated for the Darwin Cup to the trust fund,” the Chairman said.
The Darwin Turf Club will also be offering counselling for all jockeys, trainers, staff and members of the public who have been emotionally shaken by the terrible tragedy.
“We will be offering intensive and ongoing counselling for jockeys, trainers, staff and members of the public who witnessed yesterday’s distressing race fall, and NT police are assisting in the coordination of this.”
Donations to the Montgomerie Fund can be made to the following account, with further details available on the Darwin Turf Club website.
Account name: The Montgomerie Fund, Westpac Bank, BSB: 035-302, Account no: 418752.
A full investigation is underway into the circumstances of yesterday’s tragic event and will be carried out by Thoroughbred Racing Northern Territory Stewards in conjunction with Northern Territory Worksafe.