Stawell apprentice jockey Jess Eaton was a bloody mess when a horse broke her nose in a trial at the Stawell Race Course on Tuesday morning.
Eaton was saddled up on a mature horse for Terry and Karina O’Sullivan, but it was a case of the wrong place at the wrong time when it lifted its head as they jumped from the barriers.
Despite the initial pain Eaton did not let it stop her continue with the trial.
She was racing along side fellow jockey and good friend Christine Puls when she first noticed all the blood.
“I knew it was pretty bad because the blood was pooling in my goggles,” Eaton said.
“I pulled my goggles down half way around then I had to ask Christine to help pull my horse up.”
Eaton said the incident was no fault of the horse or human but more a matter of circumstances.
She handled the situation well and continues to laugh it off as “just a scratch” but her x-ray tells another story.
“I was already obviously covered in blood and it was pouring out, and Christine and I were laughing about it after she joked that I looked like I'd come out of a fight scene from 'Vikings' which is a TV series we both really enjoy,” Eaton said.
Eaton is unsure on how long she will be out for until she sees the surgeon on Thursday but she would assume a quick recovery.
“A bit of bruising won't stop me,” Eaton said.
“I am hoping to bounce back quickly.”
Eaton’s master Terry O’Sullivan is currently at the Gold Coast for the magic millions yearling sales.
Karina O’Sullivan had to take a first starter to the races.
“Luckily Heidi Smith was around to take me to the hospital and from there I ended up taking myself to the Epworth so I could look at earlier surgery,” Eaton said.
“I'm not pretentious, but when it's your face I didn't want to stuff around or look like a beat up boxer for the rest of my life.”
Eaton suffered no concussion and just mild aching pain, nothing the tough country jockey could not handle.
She was scheduled to go under the knife on Thursday morning.
It comes at a bad time for Eaton who has been in good form.
“I was injured a lot through last year and it isn't exactly how I wanted the new year to start,” she said.
“This is just part of being a jockey these things happen all the time.”