JOCKEY INJURED AT THANGOOL
Young rider in ‘good spirits’ as hospital monitors bleeding on brain
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.”