Australian jockey Nathan Berry was at the peak of his life, winning the prestigious A$2 million (S$2.3 million) Magic Millions race in January, and getting married a month later.
However, everything came to a tragic end yesterday when the 23-year-old died in Sydney from an epilepsy-related illness called the Norse (New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus) syndrome.
The illness first surfaced on March 18 during his four-month riding stint at Singapore's Kranji racecourse.
Berry, who has 351 career wins, was in mid-conversation at the canteen of the Singapore Turf Club (STC) when he suffered a seizure and was sent by ambulance to Gleneagles Hospital.
As his condition deteriorated, his family - who included wife Whitney Schofield, daughter of top South African jockey Glyn - decided to send him back to his hometown Sydney.
He died in a hospital yesterday morning, a few hours after he landed.
Said Singapore-based trainer Michael Freedman, who had accompanied Berry in the ambulance during his initial seizure: "We are deeply saddened. He was a pleasant, terrific young man who has a good work ethic."
The trainer, who was instrumental in bringing Berry to ride here, also added that the jockey was hoping to extend his Kranji contract after a good start with three wins.