French star Mickaelle Michel faces month on sidelines after suffering multiple injuries in fall

Horse Racing Mickaelle Michel jockey injuries
Mickaelle Michel: suffered fractures to her collarbone and skull in a racing fall. Photo: courtesy of Frederic Spanu

By Jon Lees

France: Mickaelle Michel is facing at least a month out of action with injuries after suffering fractures to her collarbone and skull in a race fall.

France’s former champion apprentice was injured when taking a crashing fall in a four-horse incident during a race at Le Croise-Laroche racecourse in Marcq-en-Baroeul, a suburb of Lille.

Michel was riding the Corine Barande-Barbe-trained Goldifrost in the 15-runner Prix de Cloture when her mount was one of three mares to fall after another horse came down in front of them at the end of the final turn.

Michel, Alexis Pouchin, Christophe Dehens and Clement Guitraud were all taken Lille University Hospital where Michel and Pouchin, who suffered a fractured sternum and rib, were detained.

“Mickaelle has an open and displaced collarbone fracture, a horizontal fracture with indentation behind the skull and large trauma, a bruise on the frontal lobe,” said her partner Frederic Spanu.

“She stays in the hospital for a few days, they will watch her. She was much better today, looks better.”

Stewards abandoned the rest of the race meeting after the incident. An inquiry was opened which decided it had not affected the result.

None of the jockeys involved were able to give evidence because they were receiving medical treatment but the stewards concluded that the fall of the Pouchin-ridden Tounmy had led to the falls of the three other horses.

Michel, 26, was the leading female rider in France in 2018 who has gone on to achieve fame in Japan, where in 2020 she set a record for the most wins by a visiting jockey on a short term licence on the second tier NAR circuit, as well as Europe, where she has won up to G2 level and competed in the Shergar Cup for the first time this year.

She has ridden 16 winners in France this year as well as enjoying successes in Germany and Greece.

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