Neel J S C (jockey)

FAMORAN fatality


Mr Neel was general manager and director of Green Island Cement Co Ltd.
He came to Hongkong in 1948 after serving as an airline pilot and was made head of the cement company a year later.




Up to the season of 1961, Mr Steven Neel was a novice jockey who had won 4 races, including a win on FAMORAN in an ‘Open’ race.





Novice jockey, J.S.C. Neel died of injuries sustained when his horse fell during the Repulse Bay Handicap.
1961-01-21_01 was the first race on the first day of the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club’s seventh race meeting.
He was riding his own horse, FAMORAN, which was in the middle of the field when the accident occurred.
They were led by SPONNING WHEEL (Joseph B Lim) and SPLENDID (Stanely S M Ho).
FAMORAN appeared to stumble after reaching the top of the incline at the Rock and Mr Neel became unseated.
The horse was destroyed shortly afterwards because it had broken a fetlock.
Two other horses – PHILLIPE’S PRIDE (Wong Loy) and SPRING TIDE (David Chow), unable to avoid the fallen rider and horse – were also brought down.





Ambulance Brigade personnel were on the scene immediately.
David Chow was carried on a stretcher to the first aid room where he received treatment for minor bruises.
Wong Loy was unhurt.
Mr Neel was removed to hospital where he died some two hours later.
He would probably never have been a great jockey, but was a true sportsman.
Passionately fond of horses and race-riding, were his modest acceptance of success.
His untimely death is a great loss to the racing fraternity.


The Stewards objected to and enquired into the riding of Mr Sam Chow on DART in the above race in which the three horses fell.
Having viewed the film, they decided that Mr Sam Chow had crossed FAMORAN and they therefore disqualified DART and withdrew Mr Chow’s permission to ride in races.
At 4:10 p.m. the death became known, after the 5th race had been run.
The Stewards, as a token of respect, abandoned the remaining three races on the day’s programme.






Statistic data records verified from different sources so far:


YY-MM-DD_0R Jockey Horse B.No. Trainer Run Owner Cl. Dist. Cour. Time Race Odds
1959-10-03_05 Neel J S C AMUSEMENT >A094  Belov 12 Neel J S C 6 1m Hv-T 1.46.4 Class 6 Handicap 7.2
1959-11-09_01 Neel J S C SURE GOAL >F009  Wong A S 3 Mrs Sin S F 5 6f Hv-T 1.17.2 Class 5 Handicap 1.4
1960-01-02_01 Neel J S C LIMELIGHT >H092  Wong A S 7 Lo Shi-wing 5 1m Hv-T 1.44.6 Class 5 Handicap 5.8
1960-12-03_03 Neel J S C FAMORAN >D083  Wong A S 8 Neel Fung Ng 8 1m Hv-T 1.52.8 Class 8 Handicap 19

960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards; 1207 meters = 6 Furlong; 1609 meters = 1 mile; 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards; 2012 meters = 1-1/4miles; 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.






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Acknowledgment to Mr Lacuda Mengnah; Mr Peter Yuen; Mr Donald Tsai; Mr Tony Ng; HKJC Archives; Hong Kong Racing Museum for relevant content.





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