Freak accident in Callaghan Park change rooms halts Evans

IN WHAT can only be described as a freakish accident in the jockeys' room at Callaghan Park races last Saturday, jockey Dale Evans will miss out on riding at the feature meetings in Rockhampton this week.

Evans was at his brilliant best to win on Bottega Louie on Saturday but within an hour his luck had soured after he stood on an upright buckle of a girth strap when leaving the room to walk to the weighing-out scales.

"I was walking out of the room and next thing I felt this awful pain as I had stepped on the upright buckle of a girth on the floor and it punctured my riding boot and went into the ball of my right foot.

"It just felt like a crunch and when I took the boot off there was a little hole and blood from my foot. It was uncomfortable but after the races when I got home the pain worsened," Evans said.

By 9pm Saturday the pain intensified and Evans was taken to the Rockhampton Hospital.

"The pain just got worse and worse. It had become infected and my foot was swollen and it blew up incredibly. I was admitted that night and underwent surgery on the foot on Sunday," he said.

He said doctors opened the puncture wound and drained the injury.

"I basically have a big slice there and I left hospital today (Monday) on crutches. I have been told not to put pressure on the heel for at least 10 days," Evans said.

"You just don't expect to get that sort of injury; on a horse fair enough, but not in the jockeys' room. I'll be out of the saddle for at least two weeks and maybe longer."

Evans could hardly be blamed for believing his right leg is cursed.

"It's the same leg that I have had all the previous injuries with. It is just unbelievable," he said.

Those injuries include the ankle being fractured twice; the tibia broken as well as soft tissue damage.

Meanwhile, 132 horses have been entered for the eight-race Rockhampton Cup card at Callaghan Park on Saturday.

Apart from the Cup, there will be intense interest in the outcome of the $50,000 2YO Plate (1300m).

The big prize money has lured 19 nominations from Brisbane in the south to Longreach in the west.

Boom local aspirant, Shane Sigvart's Casino Thoughts, will be put to the test from the likes of hot western gun Me Myself and I, which won the $50,000 race counterpart at Mackay last week.

Fields will be released today for Thursday's rich Newmarket meeting at Callaghan Park at which Sydney maestro jockey Tommy Berry will be guest rider.

Weather predictions are for fine days at Callaghan Park on Thursday and Saturday, much to the delight of RJC officials.

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