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Buick counting blessings after avoiding serious injury on ill-fated Permian

William Buick: took a heavy fall when Permian was fatally injured at Arlington
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William Buick was counting his blessings and flying home to Britain on Sunday night after avoiding serious injury in the incident at the end of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes which cost the popular Mark Johnston-trained colt Permian his life at Arlington in Chicago on Saturday night.

The jockey was unseated as Permian broke down having crossed the line in last place. Buick reportedly had movement in all of his limbs and was conscious when loaded into an ambulance on a backboard, wearing a neckbrace, and taken to Northwest Community Hospital.

It was later reported by the Daily Racing Form he had suffered a fractured T12 vertebra but would require no surgery, a summary later confirmed by his father Walter, himself a former jockey.

Buick snr said: "I spoke to William at what must have been about 4am his time and it was exactly as had been reported in Daily Racing Form. He'd had some sleep and was in great spirits, with no surgery required. He was waiting on a further scan but the doctor had told him that if they were happy with it he'd be on a plane home."

Buick, who recalled a bad case of concussion following two falls the same day in his pre-Godolphin days in Dubai as the worst race-riding injury his son had suffered previously, watched the race from his home near Newmarket and believed he probably got off lightly considering the nature of Permian's injury.

He said: "Normally in a situation like that you're half ready for something, but William was easing the horse up and there'd been no lame steps. Permian just took one bad step and William was over his neck. If it had happened at any other point there'd have been horses following him."

He added: "I believe he'll be in a brace when he returns, but we aren't going to speculate upon how long he might be out. The main thing is to get him home and then we'll take each day as it comes.

"It could have been an awful lot worse."

Permian just took one bad step and William was over his neck, but if it had happened at any other point there would have been horses following him