Darron and Cindy Coleman, the parents of apprentice jockey Gabrielle Coleman, with another daughter Sammy Jo and her friend Mel Auckram just after the fall.
Darron and Cindy Coleman, the parents of apprentice jockey Gabrielle Coleman, with another daughter Sammy Jo and her friend Mel Auckram just after the fall. Jacklyn Wagner

Apprentice escapes injury in fall

APPRENTICE jockey Gabrielle Coleman is keen to get back in the saddle as soon as she can after escaping serious injury in a race fall at Ballina yesterday.

Gabrielle’s father Darron, one of the Northern Rivers’ most experienced jockeys, said his daughter had not been fazed by the dramatic day for the Coleman family.

“She’s all right,” Darron Coleman said.

“I’ve just picked her up from (Ballina) hospital. She has a broken nose and a broken thumb. She’ll have the thumb pinned in Lismore tomorrow (Saturday).

“If anything, she’s pissed off (at missing the rest of her rides at the New Year’s Day meeting).”

Yesterday at Ballina was only the second day of race riding for the 16-year-old.

The fall happened near the turn in the opening race, the Newrybar Produce Store Benchmark 45 (1610m), which was won by the $4 favourite Special Savings (Motoki Okada).

Her father said the saddle on her horse, Flint And Steel, had slipped.

“It (the saddle) started rolling about the 600m and by the 500m it was down the side,” Darron Coleman said.

“A few other horses went over the top of her.”

It wasn’t a great start to the day for the Colemans.

Darron Coleman also had a ride in the race, on Towelling, but it reared and he was thrown out the back of the starting gates.

The race was delayed. Coleman escaped injury but Towelling was scratched at the barrier.

“I was walking back from the mile shoot when the fall happened so I didn’t see it. But I did see the replay in the stewards’ room later.

“I was pretty concerned; she was lying on the ground for a while before they put her in the ambulance.”

Although it was an early end to the day for his daughter, Darron Coleman fulfilled his riding engagements and went on to win the third race, the Harvest Cafe Maiden Plate (1260m),on Shezahotshot.

Gabrielle Coleman made a great debut to her riding career on Boxing Day and came close to riding a winner.

She had five rides on the six-race card, including a second, beaten only half a length.

Not content with second she fired in a protest against the winner Pins Of Fury and although the protest was dismissed all involved in the inquiry were amazed at how well Coleman had argued her case.

George Auckram rode a treble at Ballina yesterday, including the winner of the Country House Antiques Newrybar Cup Benchmark 60 (1010m) on $3 chance Pedro’s Parisienne.



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