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Injuries Force Coleman to Call It Quits

Tuesday, 21st July 2020

Michael Coleman has officially made the call to retire from race riding following the serious injuries he suffered at the Rotorua trials on June 30, reports loveracing.nz. Coleman, one of New Zealand’s leading jockeys for many years, suffered a broken femur and serious pelvic injuries when the horse he was riding to the start for the eightenth heat reared up and went over backwards when leaving the birdcage. The rider of 39 Group 1 victories was rushed to Rotorua Hospital then airlifted to Waikato Hospital, where he underwent major surgery on his leg the following day. A pelvic operation followed a few days later and he was discharged from hospital on Monday last week. “I had a few aches and pains leading up to this and this was just the shove I needed to say it was over,” Coleman revealed. “I’ve had a good career and have got nothing else to prove… I haven’t talked to the surgeon about being able to ride again, but I know it would be too hard on the body.” Coleman served his apprenticeship under the guidance of astute Matamata trainer Jim Gibbs and the now 51-year-old was the country’s champion apprentice jockey in his second and third seasons. He has ridden a Group 1 winner every season since 2000, and bows out with 2,131 wins – the last when successful on Vainglory on June 20 at Pukekohe, the first northern racemeeting since the return to racing after the COVID-19 lockdown. “I’m going out on a winning note and that’s something,” Coleman said wryly. “I don’t know what the future holds, but it won’t be riding.”

Michael Coleman

Michael Coleman aboard Supera (pic: Trish Dunell)
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