Jockey Vince Halliday on a ventilator with multiple injuries after race spill in Delaware

Horse Racing Vince Halliday GoFundMe
Vince Halliday: Belfast-born jockey is in intensive care in hospital in Delaware. Photo from GoFundMe page

By Jon Lees

USA: Jockey Vince Halliday, who rode for nearly 20 years in Britain and Ireland before relocating to the US ten years ago, is on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit after suffering serious injuries in a fall at Delaware Park.

Halliday was riding in the day’s final race last Thursday, a 6f maiden claimer on the dirt, when his mount Tua clipped the heels of a horse in front of her and came down, somersaulting over him as she fell, while a following horse hurdled the jockey as he lay on the track.

Halliday was taken to the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, with multiple injuries. His wife Stephanie Pastore said on Monday: “Vince is currently in the ICU on a ventilator as he is unable to breathe on his own.

“He has two small brain bleeds which are now stable. He has multiple thoracic fractures, a C4 neck fracture which is small, a scapular fracture and an elbow fracture. He was unable to move his arms (due to the fractures) but we got a little movement on Saturday. Fortunately he will not require surgery on his fractures.

“The major issue right now is the breathing tube,” she added. “When he comes out of sedation some panic sets in. In order to get off the ventilator he has to pass some breathing tests, but he has been unable to do so at the moment.

“They changed his medication yesterday to keep him calmer, as he had been thrashing around because he felt like he was suffocating because of the breathing tube. From what I understand, most patients experience this when they are on ventilators. He was also having pain yesterday.

Pastore, who described Halliday as “one of a kind” added: “I so appreciate the concern for Vince all over the world.”

Born in Belfast, Halliday served his apprenticeship with Kevin Prendergast, moving to England after two seasons. Over 17 seasons based in the north he rode 51 winners, riding for David Barron, Richard Whitaker, Karl Burke, Declan Carroll and Brian Ellison. 

He moved to the US in 2008 where he works as a jockey and exercise rider. He has ridden 45 winners from 1,111 rides which have earned $1.2 million in prize-money. He has had two successes in 2021.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Halliday to help pay his medical bills.

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