Walsh suffers broken leg and possible head injury in fall at Punchestown

Townend to take over on Faugheen in Morgiana Hurdle

Ruby Walsh: was due to ride Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday
Ruby Walsh: was due to ride Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on SundayCredit: Caroline Norris

Ruby Walsh faces surgery after breaking his right leg in a fall at Punchestown on Saturday. The 38-year-old champion jockey was also being assessed for a kick in the head suffered in the fall from Let's Dance.

It means Paul Townend is poised to take over on Faugheen in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday when the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner returns to action from 22 months on the sidelines.

The rider told Racing UK on Saturday evening: "I’ve suffered a fracture of my right tibia. I’m going to Tallaght Hospital now to see a specialist and I’ll know a lot more tomorrow.”

Walsh, who was returning to action from an 11-day absence because of a hand injury, was riding Let's Dance for Willie Mullins in the Listed Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle when the 4-9 favourite fell four flights from the finish and kicked and rolled over Walsh as he lay on the ground.


September 1999 Broken right collar-bone
October 1999 Broken leg
January 2000 Re-injured same leg
October 2000 Fractured wrist
September 2001 Dislocated left hip
Kilbeggan 2002 Concussion, broke eight teeth and cracked jaw
September 2003 Fractured hip
November 2007 Dislocated shoulder
November 2008 Emergency operation to remove spleen
May 2009 Broken ankle
April 2010 Broken arm
November 2010 Double leg-break
July 2011 Crushed vertebra in neck and torn ligament
April 2012 Concussion
August 2012 Broken right ankle
August 2013 Soft-tissue injury to arm
March 2014 Broken arm and dislocated shoulder
April 2016 Fractured wrist
November 2017 Hand injury
November 2017 Fractured right tibia

Walsh managed to sit up a few seconds later as if he was about to rise to his feet, but it was quickly evident his injuries were more serious than first appeared. He was treated for some time on the track before being removed by ambulance and taken to nearby Naas Hospital for x-rays.

Turf Club chief medical officer Adrian McGoldrick said on Saturday: "He has gone to Naas Hospital for x-rays and will then go on to Tallaght hospital for surgery. I have already been in touch with Tallaght to tell them to expect him. He also got a kick in the head so as a matter of routine he will be given a CT scan of that area."

It was Walsh's third fall of the day after he emerged unscathed from spills on Minnie Dahill in the opening three-year-old hurdle and Invitation Only in the beginners chase, before winning the 2m4f maiden hurdle on the Mullins-trained Burrows Saint.

Faugheen's trainer Mullins said on Saturday that Paul Townend, declared to ride Vroum Vroum Mag in the Morgiana race, was now likely to switch to Faugheen. It will be the former champion jockey's first ride in public on the son of Germany.

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Justin O'HanlonReporter
Published on 20 November 2017Last updated 15:19, 20 November 2017