A 20-year-old woman killed when thrown from a racehorse while riding with her boyfriend at a Muchea property yesterday morning was to return home to Finland tomorrow.
Jasmina Ylioja died in what was described as a freak accident as she rode in a paddock with her boyfriend Clayton Finger at Greenside Thoroughbreds stables, where he works.
It is believed her head hit a pole as she fell from an older racehorse she had ridden before.
Mr Finger's younger sister Eliza said Miss Ylioja was a bubbly, happy and gorgeous girl and that her brother, their family and friends were devastated.
Miss Ylioja loved horses and spent much of her nine months in WA working as a stablehand.
Trainer Lou Luciani said Miss Ylioja worked for his family at Luciani Racing until a few weeks ago when she was forced to resign because she could not get a visa extension to stay in Australia.
He said she was a great worker and a lovely person to have around the stables. "It's just tragic," he said.
Miss Finger said her brother and Miss Ylioja met soon after she arrived in Perth and had dated ever since. "It was love at first sight," she said.
Mr Finger, a former jockey who rides track work, had planned to visit her in Finland for her 21st birthday next month.
Tributes flowed for Miss Ylioja from friends and colleagues yesterday as Racing and Wagering WA and the WA Jockeys Association offered condolences to her family.
WA Jockeys Association president Craig Staples said riding could be risky but it was rare for someone to die and Miss Ylioja's death had shocked everyone.
Miss Finger said everyone who knew Miss Ylioja was upset and she would be missed greatly by the local racing community as well as her family.