Horse Falls Down Stairs At Meydan & Survives

Horse Falls Down Stairs At Meydan & Survives

The Mark Johnston-trained Love Dreams has been reported to be 'absolutely fine', despite tumbling down two flights of concrete stairs into the bowels of Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening.

The 5yo - who was then unsurprisingly named a non runner in the curtain closer Al Naboodah Cargo Handicap, was in the paddock being prepared to take his place in the field for the seven furlong contest when the incident took place, with jockey Royston Ffrench sent flying.

Charlie Johnston - representing his father Mark, was in Dubai supervising the horse which he believed rated a chance of ' 1/1,000' of breaking his own neck and killing himself.

Remarkably, both he and his jockey both walked away from the scene totally unscathed, with Ffrench understandably rather shaken up.

Johnston himself did not see the incident in front of him, nor any footage of it afterward. As trainer of the horse, he was among the first on the scene to comment and could not believe the events that had occurred.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "I'd legged Royston up and then went back to the centre of the paddock to speak to the owners so I didn't see it happen, but I heard a fairly loud bang.

"I thought it was Love Dreams crashing through the plastic rails on the edge of the paddock and getting rid of Royston, then as he's got up and tried to gallop away he sent himself down two flights of concrete stairs.

"Some say he jumped a concrete wall. I didn't see that, and looking at the skid marks in the grass close to the top of the stairs I think he may have just got up and galloped off after getting rid of Royston and just not known where he was going.

"When I got to the top of the stairs I thought I was sure to be confronted by a dead horse, but he was on his feet and looking up as if to say, 'What am I doing down here?'

"I went straight down and took the tack off, and all he'd done was taken a little skin off his stifles and lost a tooth. Apart from that there was not a bother on him. It was absolutely extraordinary.

"I'll be surprised if I ever see anything like it again in my lifetime," he said.

Johnston also expressed his praise for the efforts of the team at the Dubai venue to how quickly and vigilantly they reacted, to tender both the horse and rider.

"The team at Meydan were fantastic and it went surprisingly well in the circumstances. He was given a light sedative, then they got someone on either side of his head and the equivalent of stalls handlers with quoits behind him, and they got him up the stairs in one go.

"Love Dreams was on surprisingly good terms with himself on Friday morning, and all being well will be racing again before too long.

"Our travelling head girl Robynne Watton gave him a lead out and he seems fine. He's had some bute and so he couldn't race at the next couple of meetings anyway, but he won't be stopping racing on account of a freak accident like that. It will be business as usual," he said.

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