Mike Hammond to end training career at Uttoxeter following gallops fall
A fall on the gallops has signalled the end of Mike Hammond's training career, with the former point-to-point rider saddling his last runner at Uttoxeter on Sunday.
Hammond, 51, has informed his owners about his decision to quit after he struggled to manage his small-scale Worcestershire operation following the injuries he sustained.
"I had a fall nine or ten weeks ago and it really brought it home to me that I'm the wrong side of 50," said Hammond. "I broke four transverse sections of my lumbar spine and two ribs and, although I'm fine now, the doctor said I need to be careful about coming off again.
"Because of the scale we operate on I need to ride out, but as I've been unable to it's probably best to move on and, in the words of my mother-in-law, get a proper job."
Hammond, whose highlight as a point-to-point rider came when winning the Lady Dudley Cup at Chaddesley Corbett, had a handful of runners under rules before starting training for Sylvia Tainton, for whom he sent out Elgar to win four times during the 2006-07 season.
He has notched ten winners over jumps and two on the Flat, with his most recent victory provided by Sevilla at Wolverhampton in April.
'Grateful for opportunities'
"We have eight horses and the owners will be looking for new homes for them," said Hammond, the father of conditional jockey Charlie.
"We've had some great times, as well as the disappointments every trainer experiences, and met some great people. I'm grateful for the opportunities the owners have been kind enough to let us have."
Hammond, who hopes to stay in racing in some capacity, will be looking to end on a high with Welsh Designe in the 2m handicap chase (5.25) at Uttoxeter.
"He's an outstanding jumper and the track will suit him, but he wouldn't want too much more rain," he said. "If it was good I'd be really hopeful he could back up his second at Worcester last time and go very close again.
"My son Charlie has deserted us – he's obligated to ride for Alastair Ralph – but we have the able assistance of James Bowen. We'll go and have one last crack at it and have a good day out."
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