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Belfast jockey Vince Halliday hospitalised with fractured spine and brain bleeds after fall in American race

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Vince Halliday in action at Lingfield before moving to America in 2008. Pic: Getty Images

Vince Halliday in action at Lingfield before moving to America in 2008. Pic: Getty Images

Getty Images

Vince Halliday in action at Lingfield before moving to America in 2008. Pic: Getty Images

A Belfast-born jockey has been left hospitalised with serious injuries after falling off his horse during a race in America last week.

Vince Halliday suffered two small brain bleeds as well as fractures to his spine in his back and neck, his right elbow and his shoulder (scapula). He was also intubated in Christiana Hospital, Newark, and only once his breathing has returned to normal will his long-term prognosis will become clear.

His wife Stephanie Pastore said on the GoFundMe page that has raised over $13,000 (£9,460) to support her husband that Halliday was “in a lot of pain”, with impaired speech and could not move his arms.

“He's tough and will do anything to rehab,” she said. “The nurses all remark on how strong he is.”

Halliday was on board Tua in the final race of the day at Delaware Park on Thursday when a horse in front, Normalizeddeviance, drifted into Tua’s running lane and was clipped by Halliday’s horse, sending the hockey tumbling to the ground.

The horse was able to run riderless until caught by track maintenance crew, however she suffered several severe cuts to her shoulder and lower right front leg. She will recover from her injuries but her future in racing is unclear.

Halliday was born in Belfast and began his racing career under an apprenticeship with trainer Kevin Prendergast before moving to America in 2008. He has won 45 races in 1,111 starts in the USA, claiming career earnings of $1,224,832 (£891,616). His best year to date was in 2019, when he rode 14 winners, earning over $300,000 (£218,385) across the season.

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Less than a week before his debut in America, another fall left Halliday with six fractures to his pelvis, although he was able to return to racing in 2009.


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