‘It’s going to be a long fight’ – Filip Minarik wakes from coma and is set to begin rehab

Horse Racing Filip Minarik jockey
Filip Minarik: Czech-born rider has woken from coma. Photo: Deutscher-Galopp/Marc Rühl

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By Jon Lees

Germany: Jockey Filip Minarik, who suffered serious injuries in a fall in July, has woken from his coma and has been transferred to another hospital to begin his rehabilitation.

Friends of the four-time German champion jockey were given the good news on Thursday with fellow jockey Patrick Gibson saying: “It’s going to be a very long fight but he is in a good way.”

Gibson had helped organise a video message for Czech-born Minarik, who had been unconscious since his accident at Mannheim on July 3 where he suffered head injuries and foot fractures.

Frankie Dettori had been among a number of jockeys to send good wishes while a GoFundMe page, also set up by Gibson, raised over £100,000 euros towards his medical care.

Minarik’s wife Katja, quoted by Galopponline, said: “It’s unbelievable how much support and encouragement Filip and I have received over the past month and a half. The best wishes and offers of help came through all channels. I have a guilty conscience that I was not able to meet all of the information requests, but I have to concentrate fully on Filip’s recovery.”

Katja Minarik said she had been overwhelmed by the response to the funding appeal. “I didn’t expect such an amount. It will be of great help for the next few weeks and months. I was also very moved by the video with the messages from international colleagues. It is good to know that we are not alone.”

She added: “We still cannot give any prognoses and that is why I have decided not to publish any regular medical reports. I ask everyone for your understanding that I will continue to use all my energy for my family and the recovery of Filip in the near future and therefore cannot respond to contacts. That has absolute priority now.”

The 45-year-old Minarik, originally from Prague, has been riding in Germany since 2000 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.

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