One of the most promising young jockeys on the American horse racing scene has died. Avery Whisman of Kentucky died at the young age of 23 on January 11, 2023. Whisman’s family announced his passing on social media accounts, blaming the “physical and mental demands” jockeys must endure.
At EZ Horse Betting we extend our condolences to the family of jockey Avery Whisman who passed away in early January 2023.
Avery Whisman Was Carving Out a Strong Career
Avery Whisman started his career with horses in his teens. He was an accomplished rider at Three-Day Eventing competitions with his retired thoroughbred Stonewall Jackson. But it wasn’t until Whisman made his way to the race tracks of California that his true calling was discovered.
In 2018, Avery Whisman started to exercise race horses for trainer Carla Gaines at Del Mar in California. The respected trainer took note of Whisman’s abilities on a horse. It wasn’t long until the young man began the long process of being an apprentice jockey.
Avery had considerable success during his short time as a jockey. He was able to amass 90 wins from 810 horse races throughout his career. There can be little doubt that Whisman benefited from the mentoring of other legendary riders like Mike Smith.
Whisman Held in High Regard by Other Jockeys
Smith was among the many people who spoke out in the wake of Avery Whisman’s death. Mike Smith tweeted, “You will always be so loved.” Smith was a good friend of Avery Whisman, even gifting the young jockey the saddle he used in 2005 to win the Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo. The same saddle had been given to Smith by legendary rider Laffit Pincay, Jr. late in his own career.
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The overall consensus was that Avery Whisman was a kind young man who diligently pursued his passion for horse racing. He also chose to work on a smaller circuit as he honed his skills. Smith had encouraged him to do this, and the result was more wins. The decision allowed Avery to distinguish himself in a business where it can be hard to break in.
Jockey Avery Whisman Cause of Death
At the time this article was written there was no official cause given for the death of jockey Avery Whisman. His family only offered a cryptic statement regarding the pressures that jockeys must endure as they try to build a racing career.
This has led some to speculate on the Avery Whisman cause of death. EZ Horse Betting will update the story as more details become available, but we will not contribute to rumors on the subject.
What Jockeys Must Endure
What we can agree with is the assertion that jockeys are forced to face many pressures as they build a career. There is the constant need to maintain weight that would be considered unhealthy for many. This alone can cause significant problems.
Jockeys are often forced to deal with painful injuries on their way to the top of the sport. There have been many jockeys who have struggled with addictions to pain medications. We have no knowledge that either of these things affected Avery Whisman. We only know that the story of Chris Antley serves as a cautionary tale for young riders.