Blake Shinn Miraculously Escapes Permanent Injury in Training Spill

When we show up for work and practice our meagre writing skills, there is seldom much risk involved. Our eyes may get dry from looking at the screen and neglecting to blink, our backs and necks might get a little stiff. On rare occasions, the chair might roll out from under us.

Not so for a professional jockey.

Blake Shinn was hurt during a practice session at Randwick. From what we could see, the horse the horse he was riding lost its balance and sent Shinn to the turf. Shinn was nearer the back, so trampling was not a risk, yet he was hurt badly and could have been left paralyzed.

Shinn was riding Pacific Legend, a four-year-old gelding from New Zealand prepared by Les Bridge. For reasons we cannot explain, it appears as though Pacific Legend has not done any racing, so Shinn must have merely been itching to do something or was cooperating with Bridge to see if there was any chance of getting Pacific Legend to earn his keep.

Shinn’s friend Peter Robl reported that given the circumstances, Shinn was fortunate.

“It could have been a lot worse,’’ Robl said. “Blake’s in good spirits considering what has happened.”

What happened is that Shinn was taken to hospital and subsequently X-rayed, where it was determined that he had fractured two vertebrae at the base of his neck where the spine joins the skull.

“There is never a good time to get injured particularly with the Spring Carnival about to start but at least Blake will be able to walk out of hospital in a few days,” said Robl.

It appears as though Shinn will be out for an unspecific period of time, with the current estimate being that he will be out anywhere from three to six months.

That is how long he will need to wait before fulfilling the adage about getting right back on the horse after you have fallen.

Now, please excuse us while we lock down the wheels on our desk chairs.

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