Goodwin?s riding future uncertain



DOCTORS at the Royal Brisbane Hospital have yet to determine whether they will operate on former Rockhampton jockey Michael Goodwin after he was seriously injured when a horse "bucked'' during a race at Barcaldine on Easter Saturday.

Goodwin sustained a heavy fall after his mount Mr Chips bucked shortly after the start of the Class 6 Handicap (1000m), the first race on the Barcaldine program.

He received medical treatment at Barcaldine before being flown to Brisbane where he is in the spinal unit of the Royal Brisbane.

Queensland Racing's chief steward Reid Sanders reported that Goodwin had "landed on his back'' when dislodged from Mr Chips.

"I believe Michael has suffered damage, a fracture to his T-12 vertebrae,'' Sanders said.

It is believed that Goodwin may be in a back brace for some considerable time.

On Wednesday Goodwin's sister Helen Pope said Michael faced a long recovery time with or without surgery.

"Apparently the vertebrae fracture is unstable. If an operation is required Micheal's recovery could be quicker.

However, if not it means he may be hospitalised for between six to eight weeks,'' Helen Pope said.

She said doctors were confident Goodwin would make a full recovery to be able to walk again but his riding future was uncertain.

Ironically, Michael's brother, former jockey Bill Goodwin is confined to a wheel chair after a horrendous riding accident over a decade ago. In a checkered career, the highly talented heavyweight Michael Goodwin was based in Rockhampton for almost a decade before leaving the area and making a comeback on the Darling Downs last year.

Beacuse of weight restrictions, he has been riding in Central Western Queensland where the weight scale is higher.

It has been a horror Easter for jockeys, with Mackay's Mark Usher sustaining neck injuries from a fall from Hardwood Forrest at Rockhampton races last Thursday.



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