By Jon Lees
Germany: Jockey Filip Minarik, who spent many weeks in a coma following a racecourse fall in July, is back on his feet, walking and talking again.
A video of the four-time German champion walking with a specialised walking frame as part of his rehabilitation was tweeted by ITV Racing presenter Matt Chapman on Tuesday.
Czech-born Minarik has also been receiving visitors, with his close friend jockey Patrick Gibson catching up with him in hospital last week.
“Filip makes very good progress,” said Gibson. “He can talk without any problems and is starting to walk. Step by step he is on his way back to normality.”
Minarik, 45, suffered head injuries and foot fractures in an accident at Mannheim on July 3. He was unconscious when he was taken to hospital and remained in a coma until last month.
Frankie Dettori was among a number of jockeys from all over Europe to send get well wishes to Minarik while he was in a coma and a GoFundMe page raised over £100,000 towards his medical care.
Chapman, also on the video, described Minarik’s progress as “heart-warming”, adding: “He’s an inspiration to us all.”
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.