Matchbook ambassador Bryony Frost has been out of action since 6th July after being unseated at Newton Abbot. It was reported that the Grade-One winning rider had just been badly bruised after the saddle slipped on Billy My Boy, however, she, in fact, had suffered more serious internal injuries after a horse behind had stood on her abdomen.
I went to Derriford Hospital from Newton Abbot after my fall on 6th July and I thought I’d be out the following morning and back riding. However, the CT Scan came back, and the damage was more serious than expected. It showed as well as a fracture to the end of my sternum I had a small liver tear and bruising to my pancreas, none of which required surgery. I also had an unusual injury to the artery to my pancreas which had been damaged and started to swell causing a sac called an aneurysm. Fortunately, this did not leak, which can be life-threatening, and with rest, it should heal without an operation.
I have had some brilliant support throughout the process. Everyone at Newton Abbot, the team at Derrisford Hospital, the PJA, Paul Nicholls & the team at Ditcheat, Neil King, Mick Channon, and Jerry Hill (the BHA’s Chief Medical Officer). Jerry, in particular, has been incredible – this was my first serious fall I’ve had as a professional jockey and he has been able to help me understand and respect the injuries I’ve had.
It is inevitable that we have falls and suffer injuries – it is part of being a jockey. I always remember my brother Hadden telling me as he lay in hospital after he had a bad fall at Exeter and lost feeling in his legs for a couple of hours: “Bryony, I know you’re going to do this because you love it, but only do things in life that are worth the risk and you have to understand that this is the risk.” That has always stuck with me as a rule of life. I live to ride horses and there’s nothing else in this world that comes close. We, as jockeys, live to ride horses and that is all I ever want to do and so I will never have any regrets.
I’ve only been off for a fortnight and I’m already getting very restless! I must be patient as I want to be back 100% fit and ready. Just because I’m riding the horse, doesn’t mean he has to carry me, it’s my job to carry him home! All being well, I’ll be up at Oaksey House in Lambourn in 2 weeks’ time to start my rehabilitation, but I will need further scans in August before getting the all clear to start riding again.