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Jockey's emotional return to racecourse

Former point-to-point rider was told that he wouldn't walk again after life-changing fall

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886629

Jockey's emotional return to racecourse

A FORMER jockey, who was told that he would never walk again is set to complete a lap around the parade ring at Newbury Racecourse this weekend.

Ed Barrett, a former point-to-point rider suffered a life-changing accident in April 2015 when his horse fell, and he was kicked in the neck.

As a result of the incident, Mr Barrett suffered a broken and dislocated neck in which a fragment of the bone forcing its way into the spinal cord causing paralysis.

After an operation to rebuild his neck – with three weeks in intensive care at Plymouth Hospital – the former jockey was transferred to Oswestry Spinal Hospital in order to start rehabilitation.

After 10 weeks of complete bed rest and intensive specialist physiotherapy, he started to regain some movement and after six months left hospital, able to walk with a Zimmer frame.

This Saturday 22nd September at around 12.25pm, he will walk a lap of the parade ring without the use of his crutches to raise money for The Injured Jockeys Fund and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

Mr Barrett anticipates one lap will take him 20-25 minutes.

The former jockey has challenged himself the target of completing the lap in order to raise money and promote the work of the Injured Jockeys Fund as a result of their continued support.

Mr Barrett said: “I also hope one day there will be a cure for spinal cord injuries so have chosen to raise money equally for The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

“Having a spinal injury changes your life and there is a lot to overcome.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom – I have managed to walk short distances without crutches, ride a pony, swim in a pool, drive a car, drive a tractor, swing a golf club and scuba dive.”

The Injured Jockey’s Fund – founded in 1964 - has two Rehabilitation and Fitness Centres, Oaksey House in Lambourn, which opened in 2009, and Jack Berry House in Malton which opened in 2015. 

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