Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 17 November 2019

O'Brien escapes serious injury after horror fall at Killarney

Ana O’Brien is airlifted to hospital after a fall in Killarney last night. Photo: Healy Racing
Ana O’Brien is airlifted to hospital after a fall in Killarney last night. Photo: Healy Racing

Johnny Ward

Promising young rider Ana O'Brien has been hailed as "an amazing person" after avoiding serious injury after a horror fall at Killarney yesterday.

The apprentice jockey was airlifted from the County Kerry track to Cork University Hospital last night after falling from her mount Druids Cross.

Fully conscious leaving the track, the apprentice - a daughter of legendary trainer Aidan and who has had a superb campaign - hit the floor two furlongs out in the mile rated race when St Gallen bumped into Druids Cross, which lost his footing and sent O'Brien crashing to the ground.

Incidents like this in Flat racing, when horses can travel at around 40 miles per hour, are especially dangerous for jockeys, especially giving the prevailing hard ground at summer meetings.

The horse suffered fatal injuries, while O'Brien was quickly attended to by the medical staff on duty, which included Turf Club senior medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick.

An air ambulance arrived over an hour and a half later to take the young rider to Cork University Hospital, as racing was delayed.

Huge concern prevailed for her welfare but late last night McGoldrick said: "Ana's brain scan is clear. She has a fractured vertebra in her neck and T6 in back - both for MRI tomorrow to assess further. She has fractured cheek bones bilaterally."

He added: "She should be all good to go. She is an amazing person, I can't say enough about her, and how proud I am of her parents in all of this, and how she was looked after.

"We would all like to thank the superb work provided to Ana by the Order of Malta, racecourse doctors, veterinary team and ground staff led by Val O'Connell. Also the Air Medical crew and the amazing staff at Cork University Hospital."

Irish Independent

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