x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

What is it like... to fall off a race horse

Falling off a horse is never something you think is going to happen to you, but as a jump jockey it is inevitable.

Falling off a horse is never something you think is going to happen to you, but as a jump jockey it is inevitable. They say that jump jockeys will fall off once in every 10 rides, but I do not know about that. I have ridden at Bangor in North Wales before, had five rides in five races and the horse fell in four of them - that is bad luck. Or sometimes you go through a long spell when you do not hit the deck at all.

At the moment I am out for a few months with five screws in my ankle after a horse fell on me at Southwell on August 16. The horse came down over a fence and my foot got stuck in the iron. He was lying on me, winded, and the only thing I could think about was that I did not want him to get up and run off because one of the biggest fears as a jockey is to get dragged by a galloping horse. I was lucky that he fell at the second-last fence and the tradition is that jump jockeys who do not have a ride in a race all gather around that area to watch.

I yelled to them to free my leg and five or six ran over and pulled me out. They each grabbed a leg of the horse and tipped him on to his feet. Paddy Brennan [Irish jump jockey] shouted for them to bring gas and air and I was sucking on that which stopped the pain. They asked me if I could lift my leg and the foot was facing in a way it should not have been facing. It is not the only injury I have had. I broke my back when I was 19 when a horse came down over a ditch and I have done my arms four times - two breaks to each.

I come from a racing family so everyone knows how to react when you get injured. My father, Gary, was a jump jockey before he started training and he once cut his face open so badly that my grandmother fainted when she saw him in the hospital. My older brother, Ryan, is champion flat jockey, but he has one win from one ride over the jumps. My sister, Hayley, also rides in races and my younger brother, Josh, who is 17, will probably become a jump jockey too because he is a bit heavy for the flat, although he had a win last week at Chester.

My mum worries, like all mums, she probably worries more about us kids than she did about my dad when he was riding and my girlfriend Lucie is used to getting the phone call that I am in hospital. The worst thing about getting injured is the recovery. It is boring and frustrating and right now I am going mad. The best way to recover is get moving as soon as possible, so when the cast comes off at the end of September I am going to get back on a horse.

Jamie Moore, 24, who was one of the youngest jockeys to compete in the Grand National when he was 18, is a National Hunt jockey and brother to flat champion Ryan Moore and son of trainer, Gary Moore.