Cook is awarded pounds 352,000

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The Independent Online
A High Court judge yesterday awarded Paul Cook compensation of pounds 352,000 for the fall which finished his career as a jockey nearly six years ago.

Cook, 49, has not ridden since his mount Madraco lost its footing during the Portland Handicap at Doncaster in September, 1989.

Mrs Justice Smith said Cook was a very tough and resilient man who made a rapid recovery from his physical injuries - broken ribs and a fractured collarbone, thumb and foot. But his anxiety reaction to the accident meant he completely lost his nerve and was unable to ride again.

In July 1993, the High Court ruled that Doncaster district council, which owns the course, was liable for the fall, which also forced Madraco into retirement, because of the unsatisfactory state of the ground caused by drainage work.

Cook, who rode 1,500 winners worldwide in a 23-year career, loved his life as a jockey and the company of racing folk, the judge said. Horses had been his life, both for business and pleasure. He now ran a small stud with his wife, Carol, but his way of life had changed for ever.

Cook said yesterday: "I'm pleased to have been awarded a sum that will at least enable me to provide for my family and plan positively for the future."