Jockey Jay Ford has spoken of the terrifying moment when his riding goggles started filling with blood after he was struck by a flying horse shoe that he said was “an inch” away from costing him his sight in one eye.
Provided that X-rays clear him of fractures to his eye socket, the long-time rider is planning a return to the races on Wednesday only four days after he was stood down from riding at Kembla Grange after the freak accident.
Ford was forced to ease his mount Mohican Heights out of the seventh race when a shoe crashed into his face just above his right eye as the field approached the 350-metre mark.
The shoe, which was thrown from trainer Bjorn Baker’s horse Fun Fact, rebounded about 15m and on to the other side of the running rail near the trailing ambulance after the impact.
Ford said he was shaken after the incident, which resulted in his right eye completely closing over later that night.
“It stung me and my goggles started filling up with blood,” Ford said. “The ambo kept asking, ‘are you sure it didn’t knock you out?’ I was like, ‘it hurt, but it didn’t knock me out’. There was a lot of blood.
’The ambo kept asking, ‘are you sure it didn’t knock you out?’ I was like, ‘it hurt, but it didn’t knock me out’. There was a lot of blood.′
“It could be worse, an inch lower and I probably lose my eye. It just swelled right up around it. My eye completely closed over on Saturday night, I couldn’t see out of it. I iced it, and it’s gradually starting to come down. It looks hideous, but it doesn’t hurt now.”
Ford went for scans on Monday and is expected to get the results on Tuesday morning. He is booked for four rides at the Kensington meeting on Wednesday.