As with anything perceived to be "glamorous" Horse racing has its darker side too and I am not referring to the unsavoury characters we meet from time to time, I am talking about the injuries sustained on a regular basis by not only jockeys but the staff who work with them too.
Jump jockey Henry Brooke was reported to be in a stable condition on Sunday morning having been placed in an induced coma and airlifted to hospital with a suspected collapsed lung after a horrid looking fall at Hexham yesterday. Apparently the doctors on site decided against taking him to hospital by road and waited for the air ambulance. Clerk of the course James Armstrong explained: "The air ambulance is assigned on a priority basis, and a road ambulance was sent, but they said they were not going to move him on the road."
Apparently he is stable and his injuries are not thought to be life threatening but our thoughts go out to him and his family. Henry has ridden for us the odd time and been to the yard to school horses in the past, he is a super lad with a bright future. There are few sports as dangerous as ours where competitors are followed constantly by an ambulance and racing cannot go ahead unless two ambulances are present at the track at all times.
At home today it was a fairly quiet morning, as usual George had recorded Danzeb's race last night at Newcastle in which he ran extremely well but just got caught close to the line and finished second - well clear of the third horse. The pair of them watched the race over and over again assessing and appraising every last inch of the race from start to finish. Danzeb loves the surface at Newcastle and is surely a winner in waiting. I spent from 8.30 am till 6.30 pm in the office trying to catch up on paperwork but was still not able to manage to reduce the pile much.
The lads on the yard are looking forward to this week when the workload will be reduced thanks to staff returning to work and weekends will revert back to one in three (recently with so many staff off and extra horses in, we have had to revert back to the staff working every other weekend). Tomorrow "Aussie Mick" returns to the fold, Dale has just arrived back from Chantilly with Rainbow Mist who looks tremendous and went straight into his feed after enjoying a roll in his shavings. James is back this week and Tihamer returns from Hungary with two new members of staff in tow.