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Durban July: Apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker devastated but grateful to walk away from fall

Apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker had to pull out of the 2022 HDJ following a fall on Monday.

Apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker had to pull out of the 2022 HDJ following a fall on Monday.

Published Jun 30, 2022

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Durban - After falling off her horse at the start of the eighth race and suffering a concussion and whiplash at the Greyville Race Course on Monday, apprentice Rachel Venniker, 21, says she is devastated to be out of the race but thankful her injuries were not serious.

The apprentice jockey was set to make history as the first female to ride in this weekend’s Hollywoodbets Durban July (HDJ).

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During the 2022 HDJ launch at the newly opened Radisson Blu hotel on Tuesday, 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.

Venniker said her experience will not deter her from riding in the HDJ next year.

“I’m grateful that nothing too serious happened. I have been put off by my doctor for 10 days. I’m very disappointed but we must put the health of jockeys first. I’m grateful to walk away with a few injuries.

“There was so much hype surrounding the race, so I am devastated but I’m grateful it wasn’t worse. I’ll be back next year,” she said.

Rachel Venniker was set to make history as the first apprentice jockey in the 2022 HDJ.

Marshall said it was unfortunate that Venniker will not have enough time to recover with the HDJ being on Saturday.

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

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

She is recovering at her Durban home.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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