Rider who broke his neck in fall defies the odds to take on charity walk

  • A point-to-point jockey who was told he would never walk again after being kicked in the neck is defying the odds to walk a lap of Newbury racecourse’s parade ring.

    Ed Barrett was riding in a point-to-point at Upcott in Devon on 12 April 2015 when his horse fell.

    Ed was kicked in the neck, breaking and dislocating his vertebrae, and a bone fragment went into his spinal cord, causing paralysis.

    Following an operation to rebuild his neck, Ed spent three weeks in intensive care at Plymouth Hospital, before being transferred to Oswestry Spinal Hospital to start his rehabilitation.

    After 10 weeks of complete bed rest and intensive specialist physiotherapy, he started to regain some movement. After six months, he left hospital, able to walk with a Zimmer frame.

    He spent four months living at Oaksey House, one of the Injured Jockeys Fund’s rehabilitation and fitness centres, where he received physio and strength and conditioning training.

    Ed can now walk short stretches with crutches and a little without.

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    “While at Oaksey House, I came up with the idea to walk a lap of a racecourse paddock both to give myself a goal and to promote the work of the Injured Jockeys Fund and all the help they have given me,” he said.

    “I also hope one day there will be a cure for spinal cord injuries so have chosen to raise money equally for The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

    “Having a spinal injury changes your life and there is a lot to overcome. However, it’s not all doom and gloom — I have managed to walk short distances without crutches, ride a pony, swim in a pool, drive a car, drive a tractor, swing a golf club and scuba dive.”

    On Saturday (22 September), Ed will walk a lap of the parade ring without crutches ahead of the first race, which he expects will take him around 20 to 25 minutes.

    To sponsor Ed, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EdwardBarrett2

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