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Jockey's life could have been saved by Tony McCoy's riding helmet


Injured: Paddy Young

Injured: Paddy Young

Injured: Paddy Young

A riding helmet designed by champion jockey Tony McCoy may have saved the life of a steeplechase champion in America.

Paddy Young (41) - a son of the late Co Antrim trainer Leo Young - is in a critical but stable condition in hospital in the US following a fall in a timber race last weekend.

Young sustained the injuries riding in the Radmor Hunt Cup in Pennsylvania.

Reports say he suffered head trauma in a fall after being kicked on the head by another runner.

Young had bleeding on the brain and had to have a piece of his skull removed and he also suffered a fracture to a vertebra.

Young's wife, Leslie, praised the McCoy-designed helmet for preventing more serious injury to her husband.

She added: "I'm glad he had that new helmet on.

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"He can move his arms and his legs and he has had his eyes open.

"They had to restrain him. I don't think he probably knows what happened."

She said her husband cannot breathe on his own.

"He's trying to rip out his breathing tube. They've kept him sedated.

"I was calling it an induced coma - but it's not - it's just that he's heavily sedated."

Young is being treated by doctors at Paoli Hospital, about eight miles from where the race took place.

"They seem hopeful, barring any infection or something else. As of now they're not stressing me out too much."

Young, from Banbridge, came to the US in 2003 and has ridden close to 200 winners.

He also won the Colonial Cup in 2010 on Slip Away and has topped the American steeplechase rankings from 2009-11 and 2013 and 2015.

"It's just so hard," added Leslie.

"The saving grace with Paddy is all the years he has been riding he's been blessed with never having had a head injury or never being knocked out."

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