A terrifying incident unfolded at Exeter racecourse as jockey Richie McLernon found himself trapped under a horse after a brutal fall. The dramatic scene was captured on camera, but luckily both McLernon and the horse, Conkwell Legend, emerged unharmed thanks to the quick actions of fellow jockey David Bass.
A Miraculous Escape
During a veterans' handicap race, Conkwell Legend, a 10-1 shot, stumbled and fell at the third-last fence. McLernon was thrown off the horse and as he rolled forward, the momentum of the horse carried it on top of him. Despite the terrifying situation, McLernon's head remained above the horse's body, but the weight of the 500kg animal pressed against his sides and ribcage.
A Helping Hand
Fortunately, McLernon and Conkwell Legend were both confirmed to be okay after the incident. Commentator Richard Hoiles reassured viewers that "Conkwell Legend and Richie Mclernon [were] okay having briefly been trapped underneath the horse." He also revealed that David Bass, upon dismounting his own horse, rushed to assist McLernon, demonstrating the camaraderie among jockeys.
A Series of Late Incidents
This incident comes on the heels of other late incidents in races, highlighting the inherent dangers of the sport. Trainer Tim Vaughan, for instance, was left devastated after his horse Crossbeau fell at the final hurdle in a race at Chepstow, allowing a 999-1 outsider to emerge victorious. Thankfully, in both cases, jockey and horse escaped without serious injuries.
Graham Lee's Road to Recovery
Meanwhile, former Grand National winner Graham Lee recently spoke for the first time since a life-threatening fall at Newcastle last November. In a statement released through the Injured Jockeys Fund, he expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support he has received and mentioned his plans to return home in the coming months. Lee acknowledged the challenges ahead but thanked everyone for their well wishes and the dedicated care he has been receiving at the James Cook Spinal Unit.
These incidents serve as a reminder of the bravery and resilience displayed by jockeys in the face of danger. While the risks are ever-present in this thrilling and competitive sport, the strong bonds and support within the racing community help jockeys navigate the challenges they encounter along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do trainers prepare horses for races?
They prepare their horses meticulously for races by combining physical conditioning with nutrition and mental preparation. They create customized workouts to build stamina, strength, and speed. The trainers ensure that the horses are eating a healthy diet to maintain their energy and health. They also provide a stable routine and care for them so they can remain focused and calm.
What type of surfaces do horse races take place on?
Horse races may be held on various surfaces. These include dirt, turf, and synthetic tracks. The surface type can have a different effect on the performance of a horse. Some horses may even show preference or superior abilities for certain surfaces. Rain-soaked tracks can have a major impact on the outcome.
What are the main horse racing events in the world?
Some of the most illustrious events in horse racing include the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the United States, which comprises the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Dubai World Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Royal Ascot, United Kingdom and Melbourne Cup are all internationally renowned races. These prestigious events bring together the finest jockeys, trainers, and horses from all over the world.
What is the horse racing betting system?
Betting odds in horse racing reflect the probability of a particular outcome. These odds can be presented in decimals or fractions to show the possible profit of a winning bet. Odds fluctuate depending on the amount wagered on each race and can even change up until the start of a race. A seasoned bettor will watch these changes to make informed wagers.
What is the jockey’s role in a race of horses?
A jockey’s skills and decisions can have a significant impact on the outcome of a race. An experienced jockey knows how to pace the horse, when to hold back or push forward, navigate the field, and effectively use their whip to coax maximum effort from the horse in the final stretch of the race. A successful partnership is dependent on the relationship between horse and jockey.
- Horse racing events in the United Kingdom draw in a yearly attendance of over 6 million people.
- The average racing career of a Thoroughbred horse spans approximately three to four years, after which many pursue breeding or other equestrian activities.
- Horse racing is known to support roughly 1.4 million full-time jobs in the United States alone.
- Australia hosts more than 19,000 horse races annually, making it home to one of the busiest racing calendars globally.
- The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most prestigious horse race, sees an average attendance of over 100,000 spectators each year.
How to Train for a Career in Professional Jockey
It takes dedication to train for a career in professional racing. You can start by attending a reputable training school where you will learn basic horse racing techniques. Physical fitness is vital; maintain a regimen that builds strength, stamina, and balance. You will need to obtain an apprentice licence to ride professionally at races. This is known as the ‘bugboy’ period and you’ll be riding on a weight limit. Find a mentor and ride as many different horses as you can to gain as much experience as possible. Maintain a strict diet and weight-management protocol, while also focusing on safety measures and skills improvement.