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Apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker recovering after fall but won’t ride in Saturday’s Durban July

Rachel Venniker, who was set to become the first female to ride in the Hollywoodbets Durban July, will not be able to take part in Saturday’s race after the 21-year-old had a fall on Monday at the Greyville racecourse.

Apprentice Jockey Rachel Venniker. Picture: Candiese Lenferna/Gameplan Media

Published Jun 28, 2022


Durban - In a devastating twist of fate, apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker will not ride in the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday after she had a fall at the start of a race on Monday at the Greyville racecourse.

Gold Circle’s Marketing and Events Executive Steve Marshall said Venniker was unseated when her horse reared as the gates opened at the start of the eighth race.

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“She suffered concussion and whiplash and as a precautionary measure, her doctor has advised that she takes time off,” said Marshall.

Marshall says it is unfortunate that Saturday is so close and Venniker will not have enough time to recover.

“We look forward to seeing Rachel at the Durban July in the near future. We wish she had more time to recover,” he said.

All eyes were on Venniker as she was expected to make history as the first ever female jockey to line up for the Durban July on Saturday, and was going to be riding for trainer Joe Soma who drew gate 14 for Red Saxon.

Venniker would have been the first female rider for the Durban July since its inception in 1897.

Trainer Soma is expected to find a replacement jockey.

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Over 30 000 fans are expected to attend the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July.

“The July has always been a defining event in the South African sporting and social calendar, and one that pulls people together from every walk of life. This year the feeling we get is the desire to make the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July a celebration of perseverance and resilience in our collective ability to deal with the tough times everyone has endured over the last two years,” added Marshall.


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