Hayley Turner – Horses Get Better Care

Hayley Turner has revealed that she has been nursing a broken pelvis and damaged vertebrae since a heavy fall in a race at Doncaster in early September. 30 year old Hayley holds the distinction of being the only British female jockey to have won a Group One race outright.

Her mount in the race, Seal Of Approval, clipped the hooves of another horse and she was thrown to the ground, she had only recently returned to riding after breaking an ankle in July. The winner of the race was 15/8 favourite, The Lark, a horse trained by Turner’s former employer Michael Bell.

Britain’s leading lady jockey received immediate medical attention on the course and was then taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where she was detained overnight. At the time her agent Guy Jewell said “ She is just battered and bruised. All the tests, CT scans and X-rays came back clear. It’s just soft tissue damage”, famous last words indeed!.

In an interview this week with Racing UK, Hayley said, “Scans ten days ago revealed that I fractured three vertebrae – two months after my fall. This came on the back of it taking a month to detect I had broken my pelvis.” She identified the communication process between the race course medics and the hospital as an area which needs more than a little improvement.

“I know there is a handover from the racecourse doctor to the hospital but more needs to be done,” “The hospital doctors need to be fully briefed on what happened and perhaps even shown a video of the race. They need to understand that a fall from a racehorse is serious compared to falls from other horses. “X-rays often don’t show breaks immediately and I should have been referred to have a scan straight away. “The Professional Jockeys’ Association tell me that 25% of breaks in vertebrae go unnoticed initially with jockeys”.

Well if the NHS can’t diagnose these sort of injuries in a jockey who’s taken a heavy fall, God help the rest of us. They can trot out all the usual excuses, over run casualty departments, which of course there are, under paid, over worked, stressed out staff , which there are, but really, a jockey with a broken pelvis and damaged vertebrae, how strange!.

A guarded comment from a spokesperson for the RCA said, “We share the concerns regarding the apparent disregard of the information conveyed by the racecourse doctor to hospital personnel, and a more effective means of communicating the information should be identified.”

Turner unfortunately has had an injury filled year, she has been riding freelance since her split with trainer Bell and now will not return to the saddle until at least January, we wish her a speedy recovery, the boys shouldn’t have it all their own way!.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48975388@N07/