George Baker escapes serious injury in St Moritz fall

Jockey George Baker has woken from an induced coma after a fall at St Moritz on Sunday that saw him airlifted to hospital.

Baker, who won the St Leger in September on Harbour Law, was riding Boomerang Bob for Jamie Osborne on the frozen lake track when the horse was brought down and fatally injured in the first race of the day.

Three horses came down in the incident but the other two and both of their riders escaped injury.

Baker was taken to a trauma hospital in Chur and the rest of the meeting was abandoned.

Baker's agent, Guy Jewell, said: "George has woken up, and with the hospital releasing the news I can only imagine they are pleased with his progress.

"He'd already had a CT scan and that has come back clear.

"They will obviously need to check that everything is working properly and his wife is on her way out there."

Speaking after the incident, St Moritz press officer Claudia Grasern-Woehrle said: "We've had a bad accident in the first race.

"The jockey George Baker was brought down. Unfortunately his horse died and the jockey has been airlifted to hospital.

"We checked the track following the incident and we have found a hole in it, which means we have had to cancel the rest of the meeting as safety comes first."

A statement issued on read: "After thorough investigation by the persons responsible for White Turf, a crack in the ice had occurred on the inner rails in the direction of the racetrack, some 150m from the finishing line.

"This meant that water had come up to undermine the racetrack."

Thomas C. Walther, President of the Management Board of the St. Moritz Racing Association, told spectators: "As we could not estimate how conditions on the racecourse would develop, we unfortunately had to call off the race meeting.

"The safety of the horses and the riders are paramount. There is no danger for spectators anywhere on the lake."

Christophe Soumillon was riding in the race and told Equidia: "It was the first race and there were only nine runners. Turning into the straight the snow was only up to the horses' shoes. You could see by the prints afterwards that there was water between the ice and the snow.

"It could be because of the temperature which is in positive figures, though I don't have much to compare it with as I have not ridden here before."

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