Apprentice jockey in coma in devastating lead-up to Melbourne Cup

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Hannah Fitzgerald, pictured here before her fall.
Hannah Fitzgerald is in a medically-induced coma after a horror fall in Western Australia. Image: Twitter

An 18-year-old apprentice jockey is in a medically-induced coma in Royal Perth Hospital after a devastating fall during a race in Kalgoorlie on Saturday.

Just days out from the Melbourne Cup, the racing community is praying for Hannah Fitzgerald after she fell from her horse after crossing the finish line atop Neurologic.

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The 18-year-old was rushed to Kalgoorlie Hospital before being flown to Royal Perth Hospital, where she was placed in an induced coma.

Fitzgerald reportedly suffered bleeding on the brain in the sickening fall but is said to be in a stable condition.

The final race of the event was cancelled because fellow jockeys were too distraught to continue.

“Our thoughts are with Hannah and her family during this difficult time," Racing and Wagering WA wrote on Facebook.

"Hannah’s parents are with her and we will continue to provide support any way we can.

“The safety and wellbeing of our racing participants is our highest priority, and a thorough investigation into the incident is underway.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to those people on-course who assisted Hannah.

“We will continue to provide updates on Hannah’s condition where possible.”

The WA Jockeys Association wrote: “Sending all our support and love to apprentice Hannah Fitzgerald after a nasty fall at Kalgoorlie today. 

"Hannah has been flown to Perth for treatment. We are all behind you Hannah.

“Thoughts are with family and friends.”

Second frightening incident for Hannah Fitzgerald this year

Horse trainer Brett Pope said it was the second scary incident for Fitzgerald this year.

“She was starting to ride some winners and then had a car crash,” Pope told The West Australian.

“She was out of action for four months. She had severe whiplash and it took a long time to get better.

“She was just starting to get into some good form again and then this happens.

“They were pretty concerned on Saturday night but it looks like it’s stabilised.

“The trauma to her head is what they’re worried about, the rest of her body is OK.”

Fitzgerald made her debut in June last year and has ridden in 31 winning races.

She won the Trainee of the Year Award at the Apprentice Awards last October.

"I'm enjoying it a lot and it's more than I expected it to be," she said previously.

"I'm improving as I go along, and it gets better every day."

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