Jockey struck by horse gets ‘plenty of stick’ from colleagues

The jockey struck by a horse as he went to aid a friend at the weekend admits he has received ‘plenty of stick’ from his racing colleagues since the incident.

Danny Fitzsimmons raced onto the track at Tyrella Point to Point in Down on Saturday after Noel McParlan and his mount Pegsdream fell at the last in the Older Mares’ Maiden.

However he failed to notice that Oscar Line with Conor McGuinness onboard was about to jump the fence as he started his mercy run.

Fitzsimmons explained: “Noel is one of my best friends. I just saw the horse on top of him and my first instinct was to go and help.

“I never looked left or right, I just ran straight out. Next thing I heard was Conor McGuinness shouting at me as he came over the fence.”

So what goes through your head when a horse is flying towards you?

“Nothing! I just put my head down and hoped I wasn’t going to be killed.

“Thankfully I have never been hit by a car but I’d say (being hit by a horse) would be comparable too that. I was just blown away and knocked over by the impact.”

But jockeys like Fitzsimmons are made of stern stuff.

“I was fine. I just bounced back up off the ground and went back out onto the track to Noel. I pulled the tack and saddle off the mare and got her up.

“Then I helped Noel onto his feet. Noel pulled a muscle in his shoulder which ruled him out for the day so I ended up replacing him in one of the next races that day.

“All the boys have been giving me plenty of stick since it happened. I have been riding for ten years and have never had anything like that happen to me before.

“And hopefully won’t again.”

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