A Hungarian jockey has tragically died at just 21 years of age after suffering a horrific fall in the middle of a race in Turkey.
Eszter Jeles, who once urged her followers not to be sad if she died while riding, passed away in hospital in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, September 18.
The Hungarian was admitted after she took a fall at the Fegentri Amateur Women’s Riders World Championship Race at the Veliefendi Race Course in Istanbul on Sunday, September 5.
The incident took place when French rider Tracy Menuet and her horse, Out Of The Dark, fell during the last 1,000 metres of the race, causing Eszter and her horse, Toms, who were just behind, to be brought down.
Jockey Eszter Jeles (pictured), who once urged her followers not to be sad if she died while riding, passed away in hospital in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, September 18
Pictured: Jeles (circled) had been at the back of the pack when another horse fell in front of her, causing her to fall. She suffered head injuries and passed away 13 days later
Both women were taken to hospital, and the French rider was able to be discharged after receiving treatment.
Eszter however suffered head injuries in the fall and she underwent surgery a day after her admission.
A 13-day-long battle for her life followed. However, despite the doctors’ best efforts, she eventually succumbed to her injuries.
The Jockey Club of Turkey wrote on social media: ‘Hungarian lady rider Eszter Jeles fell from the horse named Toms in Fegentri World Championship Race for Lady Riders on Sunday, September 5 at the Veliefendi Racecourse in Istanbul.
‘Following the accident, she was immediately taken to hospital for treatment.
‘Following her health checks, she underwent an operation on Monday, September 6 and her treatment continued.
‘We are deeply sorry to learn that Eszter Jeles lost her 13-day struggle to survive and lost her life despite all efforts of the medical teams since the first day.
‘We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Jeles family and her loved ones. May God rest her soul in peace.’
Hungarian jockey Eszter Jeles, who had an accident during a race in Istanbul, died from her injuries after 13-days in the hospital, on 18th September
The Hungarian Jockey Club also paid tribute to the young sportswoman, writing: ‘We announce with deep pain and a shaky heart that Eszter Jeles is dead.
‘Her body was unable to overcome the injury caused by the accident two weeks ago. Esti was a hero, giving her life for horse racing. We will forever lock her memory in our hearts.’
Ms Jeles was ranked fourth in the 2021 Lady Rider rankings, and had ridden nine winners from 106 Flat rides.
A ceremony was held at Veliefendi on Sunday where jockeys, stable staff and family paid their respects to the young rider, and a minutes silence was held.
Her mother, Andrea, revealed to the crowd Jeles had once written in a social media post: ‘If I die one day because of my passion for speed, don’t be sad because I will be laughing at that time.’
Andrea made an emotional speech, saying: ‘Eszter specifically chose Turkey for horse riding… We are grateful to everyone who took care of us, especially the Jockey Club of Turkey, and we will never forget your support.’
Pictured: A post of Facebook from Ms Jeles in which she is pictures riding a horse
Jeles had been competing in the Longines-sponsored World Championship series when she fell.
She had won a race earlier in the card, and looked to be riding well in her second race when the tragedy struck.
According to The Sun, Jeles was also studying as a student while perusing her career as a jockey, although it was not immediately clear what she was studying.
Racing fans expressed their sadness and paid their respects upon learning of her death.
‘Absolutely heartbreaking news. Sending deepest condolences to all of the family and friends of Eszti and to the Hungarian Amateur Riders Club. We will never forget you Eszti! Rest in Peace,’ one fan wrote.
Another said: ‘So very tragic, thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. Such a short life. RIP. Shine bright up among the stars.’