Young jockey Kelsey Hannan is recovering after being airlifted to hospital following a fall in South Australia.
The 21-year-old apprentice rode Iva Dream to the finish in the first race of the day at Strathalbyn but was injured in an accident after the post.
In a statement on Sunday night, Racing SA said: “Kelsey was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where she is receiving treatment for a non life-threatening vertebrae injury”.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with your favourite Horse Racing events on the home of Seven’s Horse Racing coverage 7plus >>
Iva Dream is understood to have clipped heels with another competitor before Hannan was thrown from the horse.
Hannan was initially said to be semi-conscious with a sore neck but moving her legs and hands.
The next update revealed the New Zealander was “slipping in and out of consciousness” waiting for a second ambulance to arrive to take her to Royal Adelaide Hospital by road.
The decision was then made for Hannan to be airlifted to hospital.
Hannan was “virtually placed in an induced coma” and heavily sedated, according to Racing.com’s Terry McAuliffe.
“They’re concerned about her neck,” he said. “That’s the reason they’re flying her to the Royal Adelaide, to get her there as smoothly and as quickly as possible.”
Kelsey Hannan aboard her first winner on Australian soil. Credit: Instagram/Kelsey Hannan
Racing SA added their thanks to all those involved in Hannan’s safe transfer from the track to the hospital.
“We would like to thank the on track medical teams at Strathalbyn who ensured Kelsey received immediate care as well as the State Rescue Helicopter Service for their swift response,” the statement said.
“We share everyone’s concern for Kelsey’s condition and will provide a further update as soon as possible.”
Hannan only moved to Australia late last year to further her racing career and took her first win the morning after her flight over from New Zealand.
“I think I landed at nine or 10 o’clock at night, I didn’t get home till late, late,” Hannan told Racing.com this week.
“Popped down to the stables in the morning and had a watch of the horse gallop — and off to the races.”
But she almost immediately suffered a serious setback in a trackwork incident with a horse.
The Kiwi soon suffered a fractured jaw and required surgery, leading to nearly three months on the sidelines.
“The recovery was quite a painful process,” Hannan said.
“I was on just a soft-food diet. I went to pasta for my comfort food, which I was paying the price a little bit for, but I think we’re doing good now.”
Hannan took the enforced break as an opportunity to see family in New Zealand and visit her mother and brother on the Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, Racing South Australia announced the remainder of the Strathalbyn meeting had been abandoned.
Hannan’s fellow jockeys voted against continuing with the program following the confronting scenes.
Racing SA intends to run the remaining seven races on Friday.