‘I know he’s a fighter’ – Filip Minarik’s wife says stricken jockey is in the best hands

Horse Racing Filip Minarik jockey
Filip Minarik: remains in coma 19 days after fall. Photo: Deutscher-Galopp/Marc Rühl

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By Jon Lees

Germany: Filip Minarik, the four-time champion jockey of Germany, has undergone further surgery but remains in an induced coma in hospital nearly three weeks after a racecourse fall.

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“I know Filip is a fighter! But we all need a lot of time and patience now,” his wife Katja has told German racing website Galopponline.

Czech-born Minarik, 45, was taken to the hospital after his mount Dusky Dance came down in the last race at a meeting at Mannheim on July 3.

He was unconscious when he left the track and placed into a coma on arrival at Mannheim University Clinic, where he underwent ankle surgery. He has since been transferred to Hanover’s INI [International Neuroscience Institute] Klinik where he had further surgery on Tuesday lasting several hours.

Katja Minarik said: “It’s a very difficult time, but Filip is in the best hands now. The institute is really very good and I also have my family in Hanover, which in particular makes it easier to care for our daughter Finja.”

“Accurate medical analysis is still a difficult process. Everyone does what they can to do what they can – Filip needs time and a lot of healing power. I don’t believe in making any predictions. Anyone who is familiar with traumatic brain injuries and coma patients knows that conditions can always change. 

“I know Filip is a fighter! But we all need a lot of time and patience now. I ask for your understanding that I cannot answer any further questions or contacts via email, phone or WhatsApp. I am fully focused on Filip and my family.”

Minarik, from Prague, has been riding since 2000 in Germany, where he has partnered more than 1,500 winners, 13 at G1 level, and was champion in 2005, 2011, 2016 and 2017 (when he shared the title with Alex Pietsch).

He led the European team at last year’s Shergar Cup at Ascot, where he made an instant impression by riding a winner on his first ride in Britain.

  • A GoFundMe page has been set up for Filip Minarik to raise funds to help pay for his treatment

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