Jockey Graham Lee is in intensive care after injuring his neck in a fall at Newcastle Racecourse on Friday. The former Grand National winner was unseated from his horse, Ben Macdui, as the stalls opened to start the five-furlong handicap race on the all-weather track.
The 47-year-old was taken to hospital and will undergo further tests to discover how serious the injury is.
A statement was released on Saturday by the Injured Jockeys Fund following the incident. It read: “He [Lee] was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he is in intensive care with a neck injury.
“He will undergo further tests today to assess the extent of the injury.”
Lee, who hails from Galway, has ridden more than 1,000 winners over the jumps in his career most famously taking Amberleigh House to the 2004 Grand National for Ginger McCain.
After repeated injury problems over jumps, Lee switched to flat racing in 2012, winning with Trip To Paris in the 2015 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Alpha Delphini in the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes. He has ridden 47 winners during the 2023 season.
The interim chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, Dale Gibson, was at Newcastle on Saturday and said: “Any time a jockey gets injured, there’s always a real sense of community and group feeling and that’s very much the case now.
“Graham is hugely popular and what he’s achieved in the sport is incredible. The PJA and the weighing room very much want to send our best wishes to Graham and his family.
“It’s not easy for jockeys going out and riding today, especially those who were here last night. They’re a very close-knit community.”