Rider crushes pelvis in fall

INJURED: Jessica Schmetzer with husband, Mark, and children Lucas and Jack. Picture: Facebook.
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AFTER fracturingher pelvis in four places whena 600kg racehorse fell on top of her,JessicaSchmetzer has been lying in an intensive carebed awaiting surgery.

And thinkingof how lucky she is.

The 28-year-old was riding trackwork for her husband, Muswellbrook trainer Mark Schmetzer, early on Mondaywhen the normally quiet mount Doesn’t Make Sense got spooked and reared, falling squarely on top of themother-of-two.

She was flown by Hunter Westpac rescuehelicopterto John Hunter Hospital but themultiple breaks – and the fact that she has tingling down her legs because of pressure on her spine – has promptedsurgeons to wait until Wednesday to operate on inserting a metal plate.

SURGERY: Jessica Schmetzer is awaiting surgery after fracturing her pelvis in four places during trackwork at Muswellbrook.

“She is in good spirits; it could have been so much worse,’’ Mark Schmetzer said on Tuesday.

“It could have been a bad spinal injury, or a head injury. She will be in hospital for six weeks but we are counting our lucky stars.’’

Ms Schmetzer had ridden Doesn’t Make Sense in a trackworkgallop and was returning when a couple of other horses came up behind them and spooked the mare.

Mr Schmetzer, who was riding in front of his wife, turned to see the horse rear up and fall backwards.

“She has just landed flush on Jess’s hip,’’ he said.

‘It was crazy. She rides that horse every day and it is one of our quietest.

“It has just got spooked, just a freak accident.’’

Ms Schmetzer also doubles as her husband’s stable forepersonat Muswellbrook, where they have 16 horses in work,as well as beingmum to five-year-old Jack and two-year-old Lucas.

SPOOKED: The normally quiet racehorse Doesn’t Make Sense with two-year-old Lucas onboard. Pictures: Mark Schmetzer.

Hospital staff were planning to move her from intensive care to a general ward on Tuesday with the schedule including a long operation on Wednesday to reset her badly brokenpelvis.

“The support has been overwhelming. It is going to be tough with her in hospital for six weeks but we will get through it,’’ Mr Schmetzer said.

“She should be okay, and that is the main thing.

“We are very lucky.’’

He said his wife remained upbeat about her predicament and managed a thumbs-up when he took a photograph to send to family and friends.

“I have worked on a fair few racetracks around the place, both here and internationally,and she is the best female rider I have seen,’’ he said.“And she’s tough.’’

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