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Katie O'Farrell sidelined but not before €100,000 Galway win with fractured leg

Katie O'Farrell: "It was hurting during the race because the other rider's iron collided into a plate I have in my leg"
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The toughness of jumps jockeys never ceases to amaze but it was still quite a feat from conditional rider Katie O'Farrell to record a valuable handicap success at the Galway festival just two days after suffering a leg fracture at the same venue.

The promising Kilkenny rider picked up the injury in unconventional circumstances while partnering the Willie Mullins-trained Voix Du Reve in the Galway Hurdle, yet O'Farrell managed to take nine rides over the following week before being forced on to the sidelines.

One of the mounts the 5lb claimer took while nursing the leg issue was the Mullins-trained Low Sun, who O'Farrell drove home to land a €100,000 handicap hurdle in the colours of Rich Ricci – the combination's second valuable handicap win since April.

The daughter of Galway Hurdle-winning trainer Seamus explained: "It was a very unusual way to accumulate an injury but the Hurdle was a rough race for me and I had a collision midway through it when another horse jumped into me.

"It was hurting during the race because the other rider's iron collided into a plate I have in my leg."

Thumbs up from Katie O'Farrell after winning the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle on Low Sun for Willie Mullins
She added: "I broke my ankle last year and have a plate and four screws up my leg – the iron just went into that place. The fibula is quite a flexible bone and if the plate hadn't been there it may have just bounced off, but it didn't give and snapped the bone at the top where the plate ends."

O'Farrell added: "I spoke to Dr Adrian McGoldrick and just thought the plate was probably just sore so I iced it and continued on riding.

"I was limping constantly but was able to ride with a bit of discomfort because the fibula isn't a weight-bearing bone. I was busy and had nice rides to look forward to so didn't want to look for a problem."

Katie O'Farrell poses with the trophy after winning the Ladies National Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Flemenstorm
Following x-rays at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny the fracture was confirmed but with out the need for surgery, and O'Farrell is eager to add to her five winners this season.

She said: "I'm delighted with how things are going and I'm keen to keep the momentum going for the rest of the season. I spent close to four to six months on the sidelines last year so this four to six weeks should hopefully be a piece of cake."


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It was a very unusual way to accumulate an injury but the Hurdle was a rough race for me and I had a collision midway through it
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