Controversial jockey Roman Chapa passes away aged 50 after horror fall

Roman Chapa, who was 50, suffered a fall which left him in a coma. Based in Texas, he won more than 1,700 races and over £18.5million in his career

Roman Chapa

A controversial jockey has died four months on from a fall which left him in a coma.

Roman Chapa, who was 50, suffered injuries including collapsed lungs in an unsanctioned race in America last March.

Doctors put him in a medically induced coma for 45 days, part of 103 days receiving treatment – and he was finally allowed home at the start of the month.

However the winner of more than 1,700 races did not recover and he sadly died on July 27.

Paying tribute on Facebook, his sister-in-law Danya Jegede said: “He leaves behind three beautiful daughters, precious grandkids, two families on both sides who loved him and countless horse racing fans across the country.

“Even through the family’s pain, Roman passed never having to truly know what it would be like to never ride a racehorse again.

“For that, we are all grateful & comforted.”

Jockey Roman Chapa and his wife Casey

Over the years, Chapa won more than £18.5million in prize money from over 1,700 successes on the track.

But there were several low points, including in 2007, when he was caught with an illegal electrical shocking device in a Quarter Horse race – which makes them run faster.

Handed a five-year suspension, he was allowed to compete again by 2011.

A few years on, he was in hot water with the authorities again when a photo showed Chapa holding a horse shocking device in another contest.

The 2015 incident, at Sam Houston Race Park, saw him fined a record £71,500.

He said: “I wholeheartedly apologise to everyone that my actions affected.

“I was wrong. I used a buzzer when I knew full well it was wrong. I cheated, and I got caught.

“Mine was the largest fine and the biggest suspension. It was deserved.

“I love horses and horse racing. Horses are my life. My actions five years ago betrayed their beauty and grace as athletes.”

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