Jockey Daryl Jacob Suffers Freak Injury on Port Melon at Cheltenham

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2014

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 14:  Daryl Jacob rides Lac Fontana to victory in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle on Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 14, 2014 in Cheltenham, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Daryl Jacob suffered a strange injury on Port Melon at the Cheltenham races, falling heavily as his horse crashed through the barrier in front of a packed crowd.

The Guardian's James Dart posted the incident on his Twitter account:

This unfortunate incident took place as Jacob rode Port Melon to the start line for the 2:40 p.m. meet, moments after winning his previous race on the back of Lac Fontana, per Alan Tyers of The Telegraph, who reported the moment live:

Poor Daryl Jacob, he's on the floor and that looked bloody painful. Talk about triumph to disaster... Wow.

[...] He's being given oxygen, unclear exactly what the injury is at the moment. The horse lunged towards the rail, and right at a cameraman. Good grief. Talk about getting up close to the action.

Paul Hayward of the same publication confirmed Jacob's progress and nodded toward the serious injury sustained by Ruby Walsh earlier in the day:

Although the race was delayed for 12 minutes as Jacob received attention, Paul Carberry rode Very Wood to victory in a contest that progressed without further trouble. Although described as a "disaster for punters" by Tyers, all onlookers will be relieved to see the race conclude without any of the other horses becoming spooked.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 14:  Ruby Walsh on Abbyssial falls in the JCB Triumph Hurdle during the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 14, 2014 in Cheltenham, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Despite capturing a welcome victory in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle, Jacob's day is more likely to be remembered for this bizarre turn of events. Port Melon's momentary lapse of concentration ushered a "subdued atmosphere" over the track, according to Frank Keogh of BBC Sport.

This sense of glumness was certainly heightened by Walsh's fall earlier in the day, which saw the jockey suffer a suspected broken arm after a huge miscue during the opening race, as reported by BBC Sport. Walsh tumbled from Abbyssial and was hit by Adriana Des Mottes, meaning he faces a race against time to be fit for April's Grand National.

The seriousness of Jacob's injury is yet to be determined, but right now, Cheltenham's headlines are being dominated by unlucky occurrences, rather than sporting triumph.