Avery Whisman Cause of Death: A Tragic Loss for the Racing World

The horse racing community is mourning the death of Avery Whisman, a young and talented jockey who passed away on January 11, 2023, at the age of 23. His family described his death as a result of a “prolonged illness” that he had been struggling with for a long time. Whisman was a promising rider who had won 90 races out of 810 mounts in his three-year career, earning over $2.2 million for his connections. He had also competed in eventing and steeplechase races, showing his versatility and passion for horses.

A Natural Horseman with a Big Heart

Whisman was born in Lexington, Kentucky, near the famous Keeneland racecourse. He inherited his love of horses from his parents, Lyman and Salli, who both competed in eventing and steeplechase races. His sister Emma also followed their footsteps and became a successful rider. Whisman started riding at an early age and soon showed his talent and courage in jumping over fences that were taller than him. He participated in the Junior Olympics in 2017, where he helped his team finish fifth.

Whisman’s dream was to make a living on the back of a horse, and he found his calling in racing. He moved to California in 2018 to work for trainer Carla Gaines at Del Mar, where he met Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who became his mentor and friend. Smith gave him his Derby-winning saddle that he used on Giacomo in 2005, which had originally been gifted to him by another Hall of Famer, Laffit Pincay Jr. Smith also advised him to ride at Turf Paradise in Arizona to gain experience and exposure.

A Rising Star with a Bright Future

Whisman quickly made a name for himself as an apprentice jockey, winning 53 races out of 483 mounts in his rookie year of 2019. He continued to impress in his second year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that closed many racetracks. He won 21 races out of 231 mounts in 2020, and 16 races out of 93 mounts in 2022. He rode mostly in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but also ventured to other states like New York, Florida, and Illinois.

Whisman’s biggest win came in July 2022, when he rode Simply Furious to victory in the Karl Boyes Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, setting a new track record in the process. He also won several other stakes races, such as the Maryland Million Nursery on Indian Spider and the Maryland Million Distaff on Hello Beautiful. He was known for his aggressive riding style, his strong work ethic, and his cheerful personality.

A Tragic Loss for the Racing World

Whisman’s last ride was on August 23, 2022, at Presque Isle Downs. After that, he took a break from racing to deal with his personal issues. His family did not disclose the exact cause of his death, but they said he had been suffering from a “prolonged illness” that affected his physical and mental health. According to BloodHorse, Whisman committed suicide after struggling with the pressures and demands of being a jockey.

His death shocked and saddened many people in the racing industry, who expressed their condolences and tributes on social media. Smith called him his “little brother” and said he was “so loved”. Gaines said he was “a beautiful soul” and “a joy to be around”. Trainer Brittany Russell said he was “a great kid” and “a hard worker”. Jockey Trevor McCarthy said he was “a good friend” and “a great rider”. Many others also shared their memories and appreciation of Whisman.

Whisman is survived by his parents, Lyman and Salli; his sister Emma; his grandparents; and many other relatives and friends. He is also remembered by his fans, colleagues, and partners in the racing world. He left behind a legacy of courage, talent, and love for horses that will not be forgotten.

Doms Desk

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