Two years ago Carlisle racecourse staged the first ever all women jockeys meeting in support of two breast cancer charities. At the time, one of the jockeys taking part, Gemma Gracey-Davison, said that her ambition was “to stay injury free and make the top ten conditional jump jockeys.”
She was on the way to the second of those ambitions earlier this year when an astonishing afternoon at Plumpton on 11 March put paid to both. Gracey-D had a busy afternoon, with mixed results. Her form figures for the afternoon read PF13F, and she sustained injuries in the second fall, finishing her season, and putting her out of action indefinitely.
She was riding Ashmolean, trained, as were most of her rides, by her mother, Zoe. The two fell heavily at the second in a handicap hurdle, and Gracey-D was left with a dislocated shoulder and a broken left leg. Ouch!
The doctors have had to take things slowly in putting her right, and ad she explained, along the way other problems came to light. After repairs to her leg she has been on crutches for a while, and that has led to the postponement of a further operation on her shoulder, because that will require her to have her arm in a sling.
Recent scans on her leg showed up additional problems, as Gracey-D explained. “My knee had been painful for a while and I just thought it was the three screws attached to the nail that goes through my femur, but although all the x-rays were clear, when I saw a specialist last week he found that I had done both my cruciate ligaments. Unfortunately I can’t have surgery for another six weeks because my bone needs to heal more before anything is done. He is going to be moving my knee a lot with force and he doesn’t want to irritate my bone.” Ouch again!
Gracey-D had hoped to be back racing in September when her mother’s yard gets going again, but that’s definitely not going to happen. She said, “Until I have the operation on the knee ligaments I won’t know what the position is and I am just in a sort of limbo at the moment.”