A two-time Grand National winning jockey, and considered by many to be one of the greatest sportsmen of his time, Ruby Walsh isn’t just professional, it seems he’s also made of steel.
Speaking in an interview with the Paddy Power blog, he revealed the shocking number of injuries he has suffered over the years saying “I’ve had a few concussions, but when and where I can’t remember.
“Once in Kilbeggan I broke eight teeth and cracked my jaw. You can still see the lump. I was spitting out teeth for about two days.”
The catalogue of injuries ranges from concussion all the way through to breaking his hip 75% of the way through which ironically was quite fortunate as he explained saying “If it had broken completely it would have required a pin and a plate, but because it was only three-quarters of the way across there was something holding it together so it closed itself.
“That 25 per cent was very significant. It was the only thing between having to have an operation and not having an operation.”
And while most of us wince at a paper cut, Ruby Walsh is clearly made of stronger stuff as a recalls as incident at Cheltenham in 2008 when he ruptured his spleen but kept on riding in the race!
He said: “A horse beside me fell and kicked me with his hind-legs as he rotated.
“I was in that much pain I genuinely thought about pulling up, but I went on to win. Then I fell in a Novice Chase at Listowel in September, and the horse landed on my back tearing the back pad off me. It was incredibly sore that night as well.
“I eventually burst it at Cheltenham and when they took it out there were multiple scars in it. “Now I can only take an eighth of the antibiotics a normal person can take because the spleen cleanses the blood.”
Countless broken bones, teeth, fractured ribs, concussions, ruptured spleen, back injury’s, cracked jaw and spiral fractures have all plagued the 34 year old Champion Jockey but he takes it all in his stride and as testament to his professionalism, hasn’t stopped him getting back in the saddle to bring home gold for racing punters.
We’ll be glued to him at the Cheltenham Festival and even more so at the 2014 Crabbies Grand National where no doubt he will once again be hot favourite to romp home with the win.