Brisbane doctors confident Zoe White will make full recovery

Zoe White
Zoe White Chris Ison

UPDATE 1.40PM: ROCKHAMPTON apprentice jockey, Zoe White has undergone surgery overnight on her facial injuries at the Brisbane Hospital and doctors are confident she will make a full recovery.

Zoe, 17, the protégé of fallen jockey Carly-Mae Pye, was airlifted to Brisbane Hospital yesterday after suffering extensive injuries to her face following a freak accident in the last race at Thangool on Saturday.

Rockhampton trainer Tim Cook, who Zoe is indentured to, told The Morning Bulletin that Zoe came through her first surgery last night well and more tests and surgery will take place.

"Zoe underwent surgery last night to fix her face," Tim Cook said.

"She will have more surgery today to fix her jaw.

"But the diagnosis from the doctors is that Zoe will make a full recovery.

"They will also undertake further tests to establish there are no other underlying injuries to other parts of her body, but at this stage doctors are hopeful there are no other major issues.

"They are pleased with the first operation last night and I believe after today's second operation they could perform one more tomorrow.

"But I will know more then."

Zoe was thrown from her mount Scintiller, after it crashed through the outside rail heading into the home straight at the Thangool races on Saturday afternoon.

Zoe was thrown forward and clear of the horse and suffered fractures to her cheeks and eye sockets as well as a deep wound to her mouth. Zoe also suffered some broken and missing teeth.

The Roma mare, Scintiller was unhurt in Saturday's accident but has been barred from racing by stewards and it will have to satisfactorily trial before it can return to the racetrack.


ROCKHAMPTON apprentice jockey Zoe White, the protégé of fallen jockey Carly-Mae Pye, was flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital yesterday after a freak race accident at Thangool on Saturday.

Her extensive injuries, mainly facial, include fractures to cheeks and eye sockets, a deep wound to her lip as well as broken and missing teeth.

Zoe, 17 was thrown from her mount Scintiller as it hung off the track uncontrollably and skirted the outside rail before crashing through it on entering the home straight during the running of the last race.

"Zoe was thrown forward and clear when the horse propped, crashed through the rail then kept running riderless," officiating chief steward Luke Collins said.

As Zoe lay prostrate alongside the track, ambulance paramedics were on the scene within seconds where she was stabilised, treated and assessed.

Those close to Zoe, including senior jockeys and officials, sprinted up the straight to be with her.

Simultaneously, the mood on the racecourse where patrons had been in high Christmas spirits immediately changed, taking on a sombre effect. Zoe is indentured to Rockhampton trainer Tim Cook, the partner of Carly-Mae Pye, who lost her life from injuries in a trial fall at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton last October.

Cook actually won Saturday's race in which Zoe came to grief with Space Commander but that mattered for little as the distraught trainer rushed to be at her side.

Her parents, Allan and Janet White, were trackside and witnessed the horrific accident and were also quickly alongside their daughter.

Broadcasting the race in which Zoe crashed and witnessing the accident unfold, I felt physically ill but that could not have compared with the concern and grief that her parents and Tim Cook were experiencing.

The highly talented Zoe, for whom a bright future is predicted, earlier at Thangool had ridden Mower, her 13th race winner in just five months of riding.

She was later transported to the Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Yesterday morning she was airlifted to Brisbane with her mother alongside her where specialists engaged by Racing Queensland were to further assess her injuries.

Tim Cook said despite what had occurred Zoe remained in "good spirits".

"I've spoken to her and she has been telling me what to do and what not to do with the horses she rides in track work every day," he said.

"Zoe has already told me to put one horse in the paddock until she gets back and not to let anybody else ride it.

"She is in very good spirits despite her injuries and not being able to talk properly. She is an inspiration."

He said "if" there was a positive, it was that the horse Scintiller did not fall in the packed field where the outcome could have been worse.

Indeed, Zoe White is an inspiration, becoming "the darling" of Central Queensland racing through her courage which she demonstrated after continuing her fledgling apprenticeship and dedicating her career to Carly-Mae Pye who was her "mother duck" in racing.

Just after Carly-Mae's tragic crash which Zoe, 16, witnessed, she pledged to do so, declaring, "I owe it to Carly-Mae".

That courage and spirit no doubt will stand her in good stead as she undergoes surgery and rehabilitation.

The culprit horse that led to Zoe's accident, the Wayne Baker-trained Roma mare Scintiller, has been subsequently barred by race stewards until it trials to their satisfaction.

Topics:  accident carly-mae pye horse riding jockey

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