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Hong Kong Jockey Club

Organs of Hong Kong Jockey Club rider who died in fall will be donated to three patients

John Mok fell while trotting horse around sand yard at Sha Tin Racecourse

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 7:32am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 5:42pm

A moment of tragedy may ultimately save the lives of three desperately ill Hongkongers, who will benefit from the donated organs of a jockey killed in a riding accident this week.

The family of Hong Kong Jockey Club track rider John Mok Chun-wa will give his liver and kidneys to patients on the transplant waiting list, a hospital spokesman said on Thursday.

Mok, a 39-year-old former apprentice jockey, suffered head injuries during the accident at Sha Tin Racecourse on Tuesday morning.

He was taken to nearby Prince of Wales Hospital, where he died on Wednesday afternoon with his family by his bedside.

In a statement that day, the Jockey Club expressed its “deepest sympathies” to Mok’s family and said it was offering them its support in “the immediate aftermath of this tragic event”.

A spokesman for the club said Mok had been trotting a horse around the sand yard of its trainer’s stable on Tuesday as part of off-season light exercise when the horse became unsettled and fell.

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Emergency personnel were called to the racecourse on Tai Po Road shortly before 6am by a security guard, and rushed the unconscious rider to hospital, where he later died.

The club said the family had decided to donate Mok’s organs “to help others in need”.

Police said an initial investigation had found nothing suspicious about the fall.

“The club will provide immediate financial aid and longer-term financial support for his wife and his children’s education,” the club said in its statement.

“Counselling services have also been arranged for family and co-workers if needed.”

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The club said after the accident staff had raised concerns about the need to call an ambulance because there were none on site.

“While the horse training arrangements at the club’s racecourses conform to international practice, and although activities are limited due to the tracks being closed for renovation during part of the off-season, the club immediately arranged standby ambulance services in the stables compound commencing this morning [Wednesday] to address such concerns,” a club spokesman said.

“Such arrangements will continue to be in place during the off-season pending the club’s review of the circumstances relating to the accident, and whether there is a need for any long-term measures.”​

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Cheung