Champion rider Greg Ryan has been involved in plenty of bad race falls over the course of his career, but he admits none of them have been as visually disturbing as Friday’s Mudgee Cup incident.
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Ryan was riding the ill-fated Sooner Or Later in the $35,000 feature and was caught with nowhere to go when the five-horse fall involving his mount, Devilgate Road (Aaron Bullock), Goldstone (Glenn Lynch), Are You Sure (Jay Ford) and Scottish Border (Kody Nestor) occurred up the back straight of the course.
He was rendered unconscious for several minutes and has some swelling to a knee and ankle but, by his own admission, he got out of it lightly as the only rider not to suffer a broken bone
“I’ve been in falls where people have been killed or suffered severe injuries, so from the perspective this one wasn’t the worst, but visually and given the number of riders and horses involved, and being in a big race then it probably was the worst,” Ryan said.
“It all happened pretty quickly. We had found our spot in the run and then all of a sudden we had horses laying in front of us and going left and right to try and avoid it.
“I had nowhere to go. In the past I’ve had horses that wanted to jump over something like that but poor old Sooner Or Later didn’t. That’s as much as I remember until I came to in the back of an ambulance.
“I was a bit off in the head on Saturday but I feel much better today (Sunday) but I’ve got some swelling in a knee and ankle. They’re both pretty big.”
The fall horrified the large crowd on course for the Cup meeting and while some people involved will never look at a replay, Ryan checked it out on Saturday morning.
After making sure that all of the riders involved were okay, Ryan admitted his thoughts turned to Mark Milton, the trainer of Sooner Or Later.
“After looking at the replay and seeing the carnage, it was a spectacular fall and it’s just a miracle it didn’t turn out worse,” Ryan said.
“Kody has a busted shoulder, Aaron Bullock has a collarbone, Glenn Lynch has a broken foot and Jay Ford a broken hand but you just think what could have happened and realise it’s not that bad a result.
“Unfortunately Mark and Mary lost their horse, which is a real shame because I know how much work had gone into him.
“He had been a troublesome horse with a few quirks but Mark had ironed them out. The owner called to check on me and he has been around racing and knows the risks and was okay, but I imagine Mark and Mary are doing it tough.
“People don’t realise how much people like Mark and Mary put into the industry. Mark is an electrician in the mines and he works all night, and when he gets home he goes and looks after his horses. It’s a labour of love for them.”
Ryan had taken rides for Tuesday’s Orange TAB meeting but will assess his injuries on Monday morning before determining whether he will try to gain a medical clearance in order to ride.
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