Canberra’s tight-knight racing community has said a tearful final goodbye to trackwork rider Riharna Thomson who died in a fall, aged 22.
Before the first race at Canberra’s feature Black Opal Stakes meeting, a ceremony was held to honour Thomson’s life which was tragically cut short when her life support was switched off on Friday.
Three days earlier she suffered catastrophic head injuries in a fall at Thoroughbred Park.
Following a prayer from Racing NSW pastor Colin Watts, everyone on course joined in a minute’s silence.
While the Thomson family didn’t attend, Watts read a message from them thanking the racing industry for its outpouring of support.
“It was clear to us that you all loved and respected Riharna,” the message said.
“Your show of support meant so very much in this extremely difficult time.”
From trainers to stablehands, racing people from around NSW embraced and cried after silence descended on the track, paying tribute to the popular young rider.
Thomson had recently been promoted to foreperson for trainers Keith Dryden and Scott Collings whose stable saddled up a handful of runners at the meeting.
The home track tribute came one day after jockey Tommy Berry dedicated his Group Three Wenona Quality win at Randwick on Rocket Commander for Canberra trainer Matthew Dale to Thomson’s memory.