Jockey Chris McIver has returned to Rockhampton after a horror year where his riding was limited due to injury.
Jockey Chris McIver has returned to Rockhampton after a horror year where his riding was limited due to injury. Allan Reinikka

Jockey returns to race action

LIGHTWEIGHT jockey Chris McIver has resettled in Rockhampton in the hope that 2012 will prove to be far more fortuitous than last year.

McIver, 24, started his career as an apprentice jockey at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park racecourse some eight years ago before eventually moving to Brisbane where he was indentured to Liam Birchley.

"I rode about 200 winners all up and about 40 in Brisbane after originally being indentured to Allan Jones in Rocky before later transferring to Garnett Taylor," McIver said.

Last year proved to be a horror one for McIver as he spent the majority of time sidelined with serious shoulder injuries.

"I was out for pretty much most of the year after falling off a horse at track work early in 2011. I dislocated the shoulder and had to have keyhole surgery. That kept me out for about six months," McIver said.

Back at work and riding track work for just on six weeks, the unthinkable happened - McIver re-injured the shoulder in another track work incident.

"I dislocated the shoulder again and that required more surgery last September," he said.

McIver ended a year he would rather forget on a winning note at Bundaberg races on Boxing Day, 2011.

"I had a couple of rides there and I landed a winner which was good," he said.

Since resettling in Rockhampton, McIver, the proud parent with partner Cristae of 16 month old toddler C.J. McIver has been kept busy with track work duties at Callaghan Park racecourse.

To say that young C.J. McIver has jockeying in his blood is an understatement.

After all Chris McIver's father Rod McIver from Moranbah was a successful jockey as was his brother and Chris' uncle Robbie McIver.

Chris is a natural lightweight going to scale at about 47kg and his services are certain to be in demand in Rockhampton.

"I've got five rides at the Callaghan Park meeting on Thursday and I'm keen to get back winning races here," he said.

For the very likeable Chris McIver with his trademark smile and larrikin sense of humour, it is a wish widely shared by his broad base of supporters.



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