Australian jockey Chris Caserta, who went missing on Wednesday, is found dead after a 34-hour long search operation. His body was found 200 metres offshore of a Gold Coast beach. His family and loved ones are devastated by the news of his death.
Mr Caserta was a talented jockey who relocated to the Gold Coast late last year after the Covid-19 lockdowns in Victoria impacted riding opportunities. This year, he had recorded five wins and 16 minor placings from 115 starts. Throughout his career, he had 154 wins from 2,181 race rides.
Went Missing on December 1
Mr Caserta, 26, went missing around 10 p.m. on Wednesday (December 1) after going swimming with a 25-year-old lady – apparently apprentice jockey Amy Graham – at Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Onlookers witnessed the couple struggling in the water and were able to assist the woman to safety. She had apparently swallowed seawater and was in a distressed situation.
The following day, after intensive search efforts extending from South Stradbroke Island to Burleigh Heads, failed to discover the jockey, Sergeant Jay Notaro, Gold Coast Water Police and Search Commander Senior, declared the time frame for his survival had gone.
His Body was Found on Friday Morning
Volunteer surf lifesavers recovered the body of Mr Caserta on Friday morning at about 8:30 am.
At about 6 a.m. this morning, volunteers and emergency services started their broad air, land, and sea search for Mr Caserta. The search had been futile for more than 34 hours until about 8.30 a.m. when the search team discovered a body about 200 metres offshore from Main Beach.
Mr Caserta’s body had been formally identified, according to the Queensland Police Service. A spokesperson said:
“Surf Life Saving Queensland lifesavers on wave runners found the body in the surf break, just south of the sand pumping jetty.”
Police will prepare a report for the 26-year-old jockey.
He is now Survived by His Family
Queensland Police have expressed their condolences to Mr Caserta’s friends and family, as well as the wider racing community, who are greatly saddened and touched by his death.
Mr Caserta’s parents – Lucia and Robert – were travelling from Victoria to the Gold Coast to join the search party, and Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro said he was devastated to have to break the news to them.
Mr Caserta, who previously lived in Victoria, is now survived by his two parents and siblings, including twin brother Matteo, who paid a touching tribute to him on social media. He wrote:
“My twin brother, my best friend, my role model. All rolled into one powerful punch of a man, you are forever with me, I will always be a part of you and you will always be a part of me. Keep punching home those winners you champion, you’re always and forever a winner in my eyes. I’ll always and forever love you endlessly.”
Caserta’s friend, Jayden Lloyd said:
“He was just starting to do well in his career and it’s tragic. He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
He was in a Relationship
Mr Caserta was in a long-term relationship with Brittany Wise. The two had been dating for the past two and a half years.
Brittany is the daughter of a Murwillumbah-based horse trainer, Steven Wise. Steven says he has no idea when his family will come to terms with the death of his daughter’s partner, Caserta.
The horse trainer said:
“It has been horrendous. It is something we haven’t come to terms with yet and I don’t know when we will. It is something pretty horrendous that happens in the world but you don’t think it will happen to you and when it does you can’t believe it.”
According to Steven, Brittany was not really good but that is to be expected in the current circumstances.