IBARAKI (TR) – Ibaraki Prefectural Police said on Friday that Japan Racing Association jockey Hiroki Goto has committed suicide. He was 40 years old, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 27).
According to officers from the Ushiku Police Station, Goto was found dead in his home in Inashiki. He is believed to have hanged himself the night before.
Since Goto’s debut in 1992, he compiled 1,447 wins. Known for his aggressive style, the jockey took five Grade 1 titles, most recently the Yasuda Kinen in 2010 and the Oaks the following year.
Over the past few years, Goto experienced a number of injuries. The jockey suffered from a cracked skull and broken bones in his vertebrae in a fall in September of 2012. He injured his vertebrae again in April of last year.
Earlier this week, Goto had been receiving treatment in a facility in Ibaraki for a sprained vertebrae suffered when he fell off a horse at the Diamond Stakes in Tokyo on February 21. In spite of the injury, the jockey won two races at the Kyoto Kinen two days later.
Goto had been scheduled to race on February 28 and March 1.