Young rider in ‘good spir­its’ as hospi­tal mon­i­tors bleed­ing on brain

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Pam McKay

HORSE trainer Fred Smith said his daugh­ter, premier Rock­hamp­ton ap­pren­tice jockey Elyce Smith, was in “pretty good spir­its” af­ter be­ing se­ri­ously in­jured at the Than­g­ool Cup race meet­ing on Satur­day.

The 20-year-old-last night re­mained in Rock­hamp­ton Hospi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit with a frac­tured skull, punc­tured lung, bro­ken col­lar­bone and bro­ken ribs fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent be­hind the start­ing stalls be­fore the first event on the six-race pro­gram.

Ms Smith also had sev­eral small bleeds on the brain which were be­ing closely mon­i­tored.

“This is Elyce’s first se­ri­ous in­jury,” Mr Smith said.

“She’s had a cou­ple of falls be­fore but this is the worst one.

“She’s got a cou­ple of lit­tle bleeds on the brain so they are keep­ing an eye on that,” he said.

“If they get worse they will fly her to Bris­bane but at the mo­ment they’re sta­ble so every­thing is good there.”

Ac­cord­ing to the stew­ards’ re­port, Ms Smith was in­jured on the way to the run­ning of the Line-mac Ford and Mit­subishi Bench-Mark 55 Hand­i­cap 800m.

“The start of this race was sig­nif­i­cantly de­layed when Set Wait took charge of its rider en route to the bar­ri­ers and crashed through the out­side fence at the back of the 800m chute, dis­lodg­ing ap­pren­tice Ms E Smith and then es­cap­ing out­side the sur­rounds of the race­course be­fore be­ing re­cap­tured af­ter a short pe­riod,” the re­port said.

“Ap­pren­tice Smith sus­tained sig­nif­i­cant in­juries and had to be sta­bilised by am­bu­lance per­son­nel be­fore be­ing trans­ported to Biloela Hospi­tal by an­other am­bu­lance for fur­ther ob­ser­va­tions and ex­am­i­na­tions.”

An anx­ious Mr Smith and wife Karen, who is the ICU man­ager at Rock­hamp­ton, were at the hospi­tal to meet their daugh­ter when she ar­rived about 6.30pm.

“It was pretty scary but she recog­nised every­one,” Mr Smith said.

An ac­com­plished horse trainer, Mr Smith said his brother David and Elyce’s brother Thomas were at the course on Satur­day.

“I usu­ally go with her but I couldn’t be­cause we were sup­posed to go to a wed­ding,” Mr Smith said.

“No one re­ally knew what was wrong when we first heard about it.

“The horse played up a bit and it bolted with her.

“She’s gone through a fence and then it’s thrown her into a tower some­where be­hind the bar­rier.”

Mr Smith said his daugh­ter had re­sponded well to treat­ment.

“Her face is all swollen this morn­ing but she’s in pretty good spir­its so that’s the main thing,” he said.

“She’s look­ing for some­thing to eat so she’s feel­ing a lot bet­ter.”

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