It seems fitting today, Melbourne Cup Day, to write what I know of my 2nd great uncle, James Rylatt.
James Rylatt, the son of my great, great grandmother by her second husband, was a jockey in the 1920’s. He died on 1 June 1929 due to injuries sustained during a race at Kedron Park.
An enquiry was held into the circumstances of James’s death. It was ruled an accident in August 1929 (Bowen Independent, 13 Aug 1929) although allegations were made that jockeys were placing bets and interfering with horses during the race.
A summary of the trial was published in the The Week on 26 Jul, 1929. In this publication, James is described as a “straightforward rider” who “had not complained to the stewards about being interfered with in every race he rode”. It appears that there was a “ring” of jockeys that regularly targeted James during races.
James was survived by his wife Winifred and “children”.