Grand National winning jockey Graham Lee suffers spinal damage in a horrific fall

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Jockey Graham Lee at Southwell Racecourse on February 10, 2023 in Southwell, England
Graham Lee suffered a horrific fall in Newcastle on Friday – Getty Images/Gareth Copley

Grand National-winning jockey Graham Lee has damaged his spine, an MRI scan has revealed, after collapsing in Newcastle on Friday night.

In an update on his condition, a statement issued last night by the Injured Jockeys Fund said: “Jockey Graham Lee’s MRI scan has shown that he suffered an unstable cervical fracture causing damage to the spine, as well as damage to blood vessels. in the mid-cervical region.

“He remains in intensive care with respiratory support at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in Newcastle, but has been able to reduce his distress.

“This is a very serious injury and at this early stage it is not possible to predict the extent of the long-term recovery. The Graham family are extremely grateful for the many messages of support they have received.”

Lee, 47, who rode Amberleigh House to success at Aintree in 2004 but switched to the Flat in 2012, was taken straight to hospital after collapsing at the nearby racecourse.

He was riding Macdui Mountain and was caught in front of the gelding when the five-year-old came out of the stalls in the 5pm barrier and Lee landed awkwardly on him. his head

Paul Mulrennan, his fellow senior jockey on the northern Flat circuit and a good friend, said: “Everyone’s thinking about Graham. He is a consummate professional and his CV is impeccable – under both codes – plus he is a great husband and family man. He is the most exceptional jockey I know, from form and fitness to weight management. We just hope and pray for it. “

There was a very sad atmosphere in Newcastle, where he fell, on Saturday where the last turf game of the Flat season was changed when Doncaster became flooded.

The last Flat jockey to suffer life-changing injuries was Freddy Tylicki, who broke his back in a mid-race fall at Kempton in 2016. He was paralyzed from the waist down and needs wheelchair now.

After that, he successfully lashed out at fellow jockey Graham Gibbons for causing him to crash through a dangerous ride. In June 2020, British show jumping jockey Jacob Pritchard Webb, who had just moved to France, broke his back in a fall at Auteuil and was paralyzed from the chest down.

After success over jumps, Lee tasted big race glory on the Flat on board Trip To Paris in the 2015 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Alpha Delphini in the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

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