Jockey, 61, emerges from induced coma as Aussie races through yet another horror trap in shock – and his furious son berates organizers for leaving family in the dark about his condition
- David Tootell involved in shocking fall
- Suffered cerebral hemorrhages in the accident
- The daughter of an experienced rider was present
Veteran jockey David Tootell has awakened from an induced coma after being thrown from his mount in shocking scenes at a race in South Australia on Sunday.
The 61-year-old hooped the Annette Harder-trained gelding Hardashian in race three at Port Augusta when the horse gave way in the first 100 meters and Tootell flew over his head.
The crafty veteran, who trains as well as rides, was rushed to Port Augusta Hospital in critical condition and put into an induced coma due to “two minor brain bleeds,” according to his close friend, Shane Cahill.
Thankfully, Tootell, who has ridden over 800 winners in a diligent career that began in 1986, has since woken up at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Racing South Australia said in a statement that the veteran is now communicating with family.
Veteran jockey David Tootell was thrown from his mount on Sunday in a horror fall in the country of South Australia
“Jockey David Tootell has awakened from an induced coma and is communicating with his family after an incident in the third race at Port Augusta,” the organization said in a statement.
“He will have further scans today. Our thoughts are with the Tootell family at this time.”
His daughter Caitlin, an apprentice jockey, was also at the meeting and stopped some of her rides after the incident, leaving her shocked. The pair went head-to-head in the first race of the day, where she finished second and her father fourth.
Son David berated the organizers for not informing him or the public about his father’s condition in a damning spray.
‘Racing.com and Racing South Australia (are) disgraceful with updates on my dad! He is 61, had a bad fall, passed out and was on the track for a long time and nothing,” he said.
“I’ve been on the road for 5 hours and had no idea what was going on until some friends let me know and people on the track.”
The 61-year-old was rushed to Port Augusta Hospital in critical condition, where he was kept in an induced coma. He is now awake and communicating with family
Other fans and race participants took to social media to find whatever information they could about Tootell’s condition, desperately hoping the popular veteran was okay.
‘Thinking of you David,’ wrote top ex-jockey Clare Lindop, while the Australian Jockeys Association wrote of its relief to wake up from his induced coma: ‘Fantastic news and I wish David the very best in his recovery.’
The incident comes on the same day the devastated racing community is coming together to mourn top jockey Dean Holland, who died after a race fall on April 24, leaving behind a wife and four children under the age of five.
Thousands are expected to attend the funeral at Flemington Racecourse, as well as a live streaming event in Morphettville in his native South Australia.
Tootell, who raced alongside Holland for many years, was stunned after the tragedy that racing would continue the following day.
“I can’t believe the races are going on at Gawler. Sometimes there are bigger issues, look at the attached photo and try not to agree with me,” he wrote on social media alongside a photo of the Netherlands’ four young children at Geelong Racecourse.
Cahill shared a heartfelt thought as he informed everyone of his close friend’s condition: “Today another reminder of how dangerous this job is.”