There were tributes to Chris Puller at Kenilworth on Saturday
PICTURE: Liesl King/Thoroughbrednews
By Michael Clower 4:00PM 1 AUG 2016
JOCKEY Chris Puller,31, was found dead last Thursday. There are no suspicious circumstances and his death came as a shock to his weighing room colleagues who wore black armbands at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Fellow rider Aldo Domeyer said: “He always seemed happy and he was the one who uplifted others when they were down or going through a bad patch. I don’t know what demons he had but maybe we should have been more there for him. His death is a sad loss.”
Craig du Plooy added: “It’s tragic. He sat alongside me in the jockeys’ room for 15 years. He was a fun, jokey sort of guy, always revving us up in a nice way.”
Grant van Niekerk said: “I didn’t expect this. He was a bubbly person, always happy and cheerful, and I can only imagine what the family must be going through.”
Puller had a good association with a number of Cape Town trainers including Greg Ennion for whom he won the 2006 Sophomore on Bulldozer and the Milnerton trainer said: “Chris was an unusually talented rider and very good at judging a horse in its work. Indeed he was as good a judge as his uncle Garth and that is saying something.
“I was waiting for him to rehabilitate himself and ride for me again. He rang to say he was coming to talk to me – but he never arrived.”
Puller’s big race successes included the 2007 Diana Stakes on 20-1 shot Joshlin and two Chairman’s Cups for Mike Bass – Meteor Shower in 2009 and Golden Parachute two years later.