Veteran jockey is critically hurt in final race fall

A veteran amateur jockey who had recently returned to racing after 46 years was last night fighting for his life following a fall at Goodwood on Saturday.

A veteran amateur jockey who had recently returned to racing after 46 years was last night fighting for his life following a fall at Goodwood on Saturday.

Trevor Radford, who made a comeback last year, was being treated at Southampton General Hospital after undergoing emergency brain surgery.

In what was due to be his last competitive ride, the 64-year-old former Epsom apprentice came off his horse, Landican Lane, during the Richmond-Brissac Trophy over nine furlongs. He appeared to be struggling to restrain his hard-pulling mount, a 66-1 outsider, when he fell while rounding a bend with five furlongs to go.

Radford, who is married with two children, was able to climb unaided into a paramedic's vehicle and was seen on television taking off his helmet while sitting in the front seat. He also managedto walk into the weighing room, but then complained of feeling unwell and having headaches.

After initial tests at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, he was moved to Southampton when his condition suddenly worsened. Doctors said that he had suffered a subdural haemorrhage, which often indicates a stroke, and last night Southampton General Hospital described his condition as "critical".

Buck Jones, the trainer of four-year-old Landican Lane, said Radford was devoted to riding even though he knew he was unlikely to win.

Mr Jones said: "Trevor's a very fit man. It was his ambition to ride on the racecourse; that's why he bought this horse. The horse wasn't very good but he served his purpose. He's going to the sales on Tuesday so this was his last race on him.

"Trevor loved riding and you would have had to chop his leg off to stop him doing it. You can't stop people like that."

Radford, who retired from his job as a garage mechanic in Guildford two weeks ago, made one public ride in 1953. He competed in Arab races in the Nineties and made a return to riding under Rules last November, when he finished last of 11 on Landican Lane at Lingfield. Since then, he has ridden the same horse six times and the pair's best placing was ninth out of 11, also at Lingfield, in January.

Although there is no age limit for amateur or professional riders, Radford would have had to undergo a stringent examination by the Jockey Club's chief medical adviser before being granted a licence. The Jockey Club press officer, John Maxse, said: "A rider who is over 60 would automatically raise an eyebrow and the licensing committee would be more aware of that than anyone."

Comments