Jockey kicked in face by horse then run over by ambulance
A Northern Ireland jockey has told how he was run over by the ambulance called to help him after a horse kicked him in the face while he was riding in Italy.
The vehicle broke Chris Meehan's leg after his mount knocked him out, broke his nose and left him with a gash to his jaw that required 27 stitches.
Crossgar man Chris, whose father teaches paramedics how to drive ambulances, was in Italy for a hurdle race when the animal kicked him.
"The starter came over to help me because I was on my back and choking on my blood," he explained.
"He put me in the recovery position, with my right leg out straight.
"As if (my injuries) weren't bad enough, the racecourse ambulance came up alongside us and reversed up onto my leg.
"They stopped it on top of my leg, so I started screaming, but it broke it straight away.
"Everyone around me had to push it off me. You have to laugh, really."
Meehan planned to return to jump racing following a stint on the flat, but he now faces at least two months on the sidelines before he can do anything.
The jockey, who returns to Northern Ireland today for surgery on his leg and face, saw the funny side of the painful incident.
"What makes it worse is my father, brother and aunt are all ambulance people," he said.
"My father actually teaches most people in Northern Ireland and England how to drive the ambulance.
"It's just bizarre - you couldn't make it up."
In 2014 the jockey registered his first flat winner at Lingfield in Surrey.
He had recorded five winners over jumps - four for Ulster trainer Neill Mulholland - before switching his attention to the flat.
Meehan gained considerable credit for his winner at Lingfield, coming from the worst draw on the outside to an inside rail and taking first place.