THIS is the awful moment jockey Richie McLernon gets trapped under a horse after a fall at Exeter.
Miraculously both the rider and runner Conkwell Legend were up on their feet afterwards and none the worse thanks to some heroic quick thinking from fellow jockey David Bass.
Conkwell Legend was travelling beautifully in the 3m chase when he came a cropper at the third-last
The horse propelled his rider out of the saddle and into the turf
Conkwell Legend lands on top of jockey Richie McLernon
The thoroughbred’s massive 500kg weight was on top of the jockey
But there were fears as cameras caught the moment the ten-year-old chaser came down at the third-last fence in a veterans’ handicap.
The 10-1 shot had hit the front when he pecked on landing and couldn’t remain upright.
Conkwell Legend crumpled to the ground and McLernon was ejected from the saddle.
As he rolled forward the horse’s momentum sent him forward too and he stopped right on top of McLernon.
Fortunately McLernon’s head was above the horse’s body but still the majority of the thoroughbred’s 500kg weight was on the jockey’s sides and ribcage.
Commentator Richard Hoiles confirmed both were OK afterwards, writing on X: “Pleased to say Conkwell Legend and Richie Mclernon ok having briefly been trapped underneath the horse.”
And he revealed Bass rushed to help McLernon after getting off his own horse.
Hoiled added: “David Bass dismounted Run To Gold to assist Richie McLernon.”
Viewers were relieved to hear the good news, with one describing the incident as ‘brutal’ and another ‘horrible’.
There have been some nasty late incidents in races recently.
Trainer Tim Vaughan was left ‘absolutely gutted‘ after his horse Crossbeau fell at the final hurdle in a race at Chepstow.
That meant 999-1 in-running Borodale was able to sneak through and win.
Fortunately both jockey and horse were OK after the incident as well.
Meanwhile, former Grand National winner Graham Lee has spoken for the first time since his life-threatening fall at Newcastle last November.
In a statement released via the Injured Jockeys Fund, he thanked people for their support and said he was hoping to return home in the next few months.
Lee said: “It’s three months now since my accident and I thought it was appropriate for me to say something publicly for the first time.
“Frankly, I’ve been overwhelmed by the unbelievable support and good wishes sent by everyone and I’d like to thank you all so much on behalf of myself, my wife Becky and our children, Amy and Robbie.
“It feels like I’m in a bit of a bubble here at the James Cook Spinal Unit but the girls share with me all the messages that they are receiving and every single one is appreciated, as is the support of my great friends who continue to visit me so regularly and keep my spirits up.
“I never really considered that I had achieved that much as a jockey and it seems crazy that so many people are thinking of us all. I can’t deny it has been – and continues to be – hard for us all, but these messages, help us all so much.
“I would also like to thank the team of nurses here who are just unbelievable in the around the clock care and support they offer us all.
“As most of you know, the injuries I have suffered are life-changing and there is a long road ahead.
“But we have just received planning permission so that work can start to adapt our home in the hope that that I will be able to leave hospital at some stage in the next few months.
“Thank you again. I am truly humbled and grateful.”
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