Victoria’s top female jockey Michelle Payne has escaped life threatening injuries after being thrown from her mount coming out of the barriers in the first race at Donald yesterday.
But the Group 1 winning jockey is set to be on the sidelines for many months after suffering four fractured vertebrae and broken ribs.
Payne was riding the Darren Weir trained El Divine who knuckled over at the start of the 1000m three year old Maiden and threw her heavily to the turf.
She was transported to the local hospital but then transferred to her home town hospital at Ballarat where the injuries were confirmed along with bruising and lacerations to her face.
The young jockey was in good spirits last night and was able to thank family and friends for their concern via twitter.
“Thanks everyone for your msg’s. four stable fractured vertebrates and maybe a crack in my collar bone. Not as bad as it sounds!” Payne said later adding: “Just found out a couple of ribs too, explains why moving is so painful!”
This is the second serious fall that Payne has endured after being left with a fractured skull and bruising to the brain from a heavy tumble in March 2004.
But she returned to the saddle against family wishes and went on to ride four Group 1 wins, three of them aboard her favourite mare Yosei plus Allez Wonder for Cups King Bart Cummings in the 2009 Toorak Handicap.
Payne has ridden sixty-six winners this season from a total of 575 rides and continues the tradition of the famous Victorian racing family which had produced eight jockeys from eleven children including top jockey Patrick who went on to win the 2002 Cox Plate on the recently deceased Western Australian champion Northerly.