Robl airlifted after horror fall at Scone

HORSE RACING

Leading Sydney jockey Peter Robl was airlifted to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital yesterday after a heavy fall soon after the start of the first race at Scone.

Robl was complaining he had no feeling in his legs when ambulance paramedics reached him and they called for a helicopter, which was in the air at the time and landed about 15 minutes after the incident.

By then Robl told ambulance officers he was starting to get feeling back in his legs, but he was still flown to Newcastle as a precaution.

Robl was riding the David Vandyke-trained In My Image, which bucked soon after the start, threw the jockey and then crashed through the inside plastic running rail.

The Paul Perry-trained Abbey Mews was following and was bumped by the riderless horse, dislodging apprentice Rachael Murray.

She was complaining of a headache and taken by ambulance to Scone Hospital as a precaution.

Neither horse was injured in the fall.

In My Image got back on to the course proper and cantered to the winning post with the saddle around her flanks, the reins trailing behind her front legs and with a broken breast plate.

Chief steward Shane Cullen said the gear had been inspected after the fall and it was found the breast plate, surcingle and girth were all new and in good order. He also said there had been no issue with the way the horse had been saddled.

Stewards opened an inquiry and took evidence from several jockeys before adjourning it until Robl is well enough to give evidence.

Vandyke and a new client to his stable, Jack O'Connor, won the following race, the three-year-old Maiden (1300 metres) with Third Degree.

Robl was to have ridden the filly, but was replaced by Mitchell Bell.

There was drama soon after the start in that race when the Stephen Farley-trained Marjessie stumbled and Grant Buckley was dislodged.

Buckley was unhurt and hitched a ride back to the jockey's room in the ambulance.

Vandyke said Third Degree was one of the reasons he had been able to convince Robl to ride at the meeting.

"He rode her in both her trials for me and really liked her," Vandyke said.

"It is good to get a win with her, but in the big picture this has not been a good day.

"As soon as I am finished here I am heading to Newcastle to see Peter."

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