Rising jockey Chad Schofield is recovering at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after fracturing his C3 vertebra in a race fall at Cranbourne on Sunday.
Schofield was riding Made Of Ice in the Procon Developments Handicap in the fifth race at Cranbourne on Saturday when his mount suffered a serious leg injury and was enthuanised after falling over Donarchie at the 900 metre mark.
Ben Thompson, who was riding Donarchie, suffered a serious concussion and was released from hospital last night, while jockey Steven Arnold also suffered a concussion after being dislodged from his mount Exclusive Choice.
It was originally feared that Chad Schofield would require surgery on his neck, but Victorian Jockeys’ Association Chief Executive Des O’Keefe confirmed last night that the Group 1 winning jockey would not require an operation and had not suffered any spinal cord damage.
“They think he may have shaken up an old injury,” O’Keeffe said.
“Doctors will monitor it really closely over the next couple of days, but the good news is that Chad won’t need surgery.”
The fall and injury spoiled what had been a successful weekend for Schofield after he piloted Henry Dwyer-trained Sonntag to victory in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Last season’s champion apprentice has now recorded four victories at the highest level of racing following his memorable win on Shamus Award in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, dominant victory on Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8 and his well-timed ride on Go Indy Go in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick during The Championships.
Arnold ruled himself out on rides during the week, but plans to returning to riding at Flemington this Saturday, while Michael Kent confirmed that his apprentice Thompson had suffering no long-term injuries in the fall.
“He wanted to come to the jump outs this morning, but I told him it was a public holiday and they weren’t on,” Kent told TVN yesterday.
At this stage there is no timeframe for a return to riding for Schofield.