Trainer Nigel Blackiston in hospital after a horse he was riding collapsed at trackwork on Monday

Trainer Nigel Blackiston in hospital after a horse he was riding collapsed at trackwork on Monday

 

Ballarat-based trainer Nigel Blackiston is in hospital nursing a number of injuries after a horse he was riding collapsed at trackwork on Monday.

Blackiston’s wife Susanna said on Tuesday that the trainer was cantering a horse on the inside sand at Ballarat when it suddenly collapsed, dying after crashing through a rail and landing on top of Blackiston.

She said his injuries include a serious concussion and loss of vision in his right eye, as well as broken ribs, a punctured lung and a shoulder injury.

Blackiston, who has won nearly 400 races including four Group 1s with the likes of Littorio and Suavito since taking out a licence in 1999, was a long-time Flemington-based trainer after starting his career in Australia as foreman for the late Bart Cummings. He shifted his training base to Ballarat in 2019.

Susanna Blackiston said her husband had been forced to ride a lot more work in recent months due to a severe shortage of track riders.

She said COVID had stopped the constant stream of UK and European riders that make the journey to Australia each year and she said the recent drug raids on riders in the area also had made an indirect impact on the number of available riders each morning.

 

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