KNOCKED SIDEWAYS: Gordon Yorke is down but not out after a fall at Coffs Harbour training track. Photo: Rob Wright
KNOCKED SIDEWAYS: Gordon Yorke is down but not out after a fall at Coffs Harbour training track. Photo: Rob Wright

Yorke hurt in horse fall

TOP horseman Gordon Yorke is recovering from a freak accident on the training track at Coffs Harbour.

Yorke broke the C7 vertebra at the base of his neck when dislodged from a horse in a jump out while instructing an apprentice jockey in the art of race riding.

Since slimming down over the past 18 months, Yorke has become more active in the saddle and this incident will put him on the other side of the rails for some time.

"I wanted to show my young apprentice Kaylee Kirkwood how to get her horse out of the barriers," he said.

"I was only planning to go three or four strides but the thing jumped sideways, hit the gate and knocked my foot out of the iron.

"I'm trying to get it back by putting weight on the other iron and the bloody saddle rolled over its shoulder.

"By this time we're galloping and I'm in a bit of trouble.

"The saddle went down and I went off."

Yorke was knocked out when he hit the ground, before being taken to hospital where scans revealed the damage. "I'll be right ... I just broke my neck a little.

"There's plenty of bruising around my neck and shoulders but I'll be right.

"I'm tough - they made this model back in the '50s," Yorke said.

The trainer is now out of hospital but recuperation means he may not return to work for two months.



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