Chris Brown

Vale Chris Brown

Racing Victoria (RV) and the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) are saddened to report the passing of Victorian jockey Chris Brown. 

The New Zealand-born 47-year-old, who was based in north-east Victoria, passed away last Saturday in Euroa after a short illness.

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “On behalf of the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry, I would like to extend our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to Chris’ family and friends both here and back home in New Zealand.

“Chris has been a dedicated member of the racing industry for much of his life both as a jockey and as a trackwork rider for many of Australasia’s biggest trainers. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.”

VJA Executive Officer, Matt Hyland, added: “Chris dedicated his entire working life to racing. Our rider group are deeply saddened at the news of Chris’ passing and will miss him and the significant contribution he made to our industry.” 

Born in Napier (NZ), Chris was apprenticed to New Zealand’s 1983 Melbourne Cup-winning training ‘Snowy’ Lupton and rode with success over jumps in his homeland for a decade.

He moved to Sydney in 2000 and worked for two subsequent Melbourne Cup-winning trainers in Graeme Rogerson and Gai Waterhouse, among others. He came to Melbourne in 2004 and since then has worked for a number of stables including the late Ross McDonald, Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Shelia Laxon, David Hayes and Peter Moody. 

After an absence of more than a decade from race riding, Chris was licensed to ride in picnic races in 2014. He was upgraded to a professional jumps jockey a year later before concentrating largely on flat riding through to his last ride at Bendigo on 2 June 2018. His final winner came at King Island in January 2018.

Whilst he rode winners in New Zealand, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales, one of Chris’ most cherished moments in the saddle came in defeat when he rode against champion mare Winx in the 2017 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, finishing unplaced aboard longshot Magicool. 

The RV / VJA Jockey Assistance Program is working with Chris’ family, Victorian riders and others in the local racing community who require support at this sad time.

A celebration of Chris’ life will be held at the Benalla Racecourse next Thursday, 13 September at 12 noon.