Australian jockey Stathi Katsidis found dead at age 31

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One of Australia’s leading jockeys Stathi Katsidis has been found dead at the age of 31. He was found dead on Tuesday morning by his fiancee, Melissa Jackson.

Toowoomba in 2005 Image: Danubis.

Katsidis died less than a week before he was due to ride in the Cox Plate and was set to ride in the Melbourne cup in November. He was going to be riding former Australian Derby winner Shoot Out.

Born in Toowoomba, Katsidis had recorded over 170 victories last season. He had success in both the Australian Derby and the Group One Randwick Guineas. He suffered a knock back in 2008 when he was banned for nine months after testing positive for ecstasy. He had previously battled drug and weight problems in the past.

“He was a terrific guy, loaded with ability and is going to be sadly missed.

Tributes have been paid to Katsidis both jockey’s and trainers. John Wallace, the trainer of Shoot Out said “He told me he couldn’t wait to get to Melbourne and that he’d be down on Thursday. It’s a total shock.” Jockey Corey Brown said “He was a terrific guy, loaded with ability and is going to be sadly missed.”

Police have said that no suspicious circumstances surrounding Katsidis death. His fiancee has said that she suspects alcohol to be a factor in his death. Katsidis had been out drinking with friends on the night before his death. “Jockeys have to lose so much weight. Their bodies are drained like anorexic young girls. Then some of them go out and try drinking like men with big, strong bodies. It hits them like a brick wall. I just hope some of the other jockeys get a message from this.”

His funeral has been set for next Tuesday; exact plans have yet to be released.

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