Henry Brooke: "I don't think they're going to operate now"PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Brooke: Hexham fall will not knock my confidence
HENRY BROOKE could not wait to relive the incident at Hexham on Saturday that put him in hospital when he was woken from his induced coma.
Brooke is recovering in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary from a fall from Old Storm that was serious enough for him to require transportation by air ambulance and for the racing programme to be pushed back an hour and three-quarters.
Giving his first interview since the fall, he told the Racing Post: "I don't remember the fall at all and I can't remember the air ambulance or any of that, but when I woke up in hospital I wanted to see it for myself. I had to write it on a piece of paper, and it was found for me on a phone.
"I watched it a couple of times and it didn't look anything. I've had lots of worse-looking falls, but it looks as if one of the horses following me has just caught me in the wrong place and done a bit of damage."
The 'bit of damage' the 25-year-old refers to includes eight broken ribs and a collapsed lung, but it now looks less likely he will require operating upon.
Brooke keen to renew partnership
Whether he does or not, there is no mistaking his eagerness not only to get back in the saddle, but to renew his acquaintance with the Brian Ellison-trained faller.
Brooke said: "If it hadn't been a downhill fence Old Storm would have been fine, but he was a little bit long to it and didn't put his landing gear down. He just pecked and went down in front.
"It wasn't his fault and I want to get back on him when I get out as we have unfinished business and I've got something to prove. I want to get back on them all."
Brooke, whose younger brother Danny and grandfather were both at Hexham on Saturday, expects to be in hospital at least another week but feels he is already on the mend.
He said: "I'm more comfortable than I was and I don't think they're going to operate now, although I'm not 100 per cent sure.
"It's not nice and I'm being heavily monitored, with a drain in my lung and tubes coming out of here and there, but it's getting better. I should think I'll be here another week or so, and it may be six weeks before I'm back riding again."
'Confidence won't be affected'
Brooke had made a terrific start to the season with 26 winners on the board and his personal best score of 42 already in his sights. Reflecting on his season he continued: "Things were going well and I was riding with a lot of confidence.
"It's not very nice going racing when you feel you're just making up the numbers, but I've been getting on some good horses, with great support from lots of different trainers including Brian Ellison, Gordon Elliott and Jimmy Moffatt.
"I've been going to the track excited, often thinking I've got a couple of good shouts, and when I've had a winner early on it's given me even more confidence for the later rides.
"Mr Ellison has kept in touch since the fall through my mother [Julia], which has been great, and I'm looking forward to riding again for him when I'm out. I'm looking forward to riding for them all again, and because I don't remember the fall I'm sure my confidence won't be affected."
Brooke is grateful for the treatment he received from the medical team at Hexham, as well as those on the air ambulance and at Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he is in a private room and now able to see relatives and close friends.
However, he is already looking forward to recuperating at home in Middleham, where he lives in a cottage on his grandparents' farm, just across the road from his mother.
He said: "I want to thank everyone who has looked after me so well, and also my family, as it's not been at all nice for them. I'm also very grateful to everyone who has sent texts and messages wishing me well. I apologise to anyone I haven't replied to yet, but I've really appreciated them. They've been a massive boost."