Jockey Vince Halliday able to walk with help as he leaves ICU to begin rehab in Delaware

Horse Racing Vince Halliday
Vince Halliday: the jockey is out of ICU and starting rehab after Delaware Park spill. Photo courtesy Stephanie Pastore

By Jon Lees

USA: Jockey Vince Halliday, who suffered serious injuries in a race spill at Delaware Park in July, is set to leave intensive care and move to a rehabilitation unit.

Belfast-born Halliday suffered two brain bleeds, fractures to his back, neck, shoulder and elbow, and spent two weeks on a ventilator as he was unable to breathe on his own. 

The jockey, who moved to the US in 2008 after riding for nearly 20 years in Britain and Ireland, has spent the last four weeks at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware.

In an update on his condition, his wife Stephanie Pastore reported Halliday was off the ventilator, able to walk with assistance but still weak.

“Vince spent two weeks in the ICU and then as soon as he got off the ventilator he moved to the trauma step down unit,” she said.

“He was steadily progressing apart from being able to swallow so he had a stomach feed tube inserted last week. However he had some complications due to the new stomach tube and ended up back in ICU for two days.

“He came back to trauma step down this past Sunday and has kept progressing so today he is being discharged from the hospital and is moving on to acute rehab where they will work on his swallowing as well as general physical therapy.

“He is able to walk with assistance, but is just weak. So the next chapter of his recovery begins. He should be in rehab for seven to ten days.“

Halliday served his apprenticeship with Kevin Prendergast in Ireland, moving to England after two seasons. Over 17 seasons based in the north he rode 51 winners, mostly in the north of England for trainers including David Barron, Richard Whitaker, Karl Burke, Declan Carroll, Brian Ellison and Michael Dods.

Since moving 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.

The GoFundMe pages set up for Halliday to help pay his medical bills have so far raised more than $40,000.

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