Newmarket Hospital - a Memory of Newmarket.
I worked in racing stables in Exeter Road. In the spring of 1960 I was injured when a yearling I was exercising suddenly reared and I 'went out the back door', narrowly missing the edge of the pavement, but hitting my unprotected head (safety headgear was not worn in those days by stable lads or girls). The accident happened in St Mary's Square and luckily for me a local doctor was passing in his large car. Under his orders I was carried and laid on the back seat, no paramedics and neck braces in those days! The care I received was second to none, I was closely monitered day and night and the surgeon in charge was superb. I do not remember very much about the accident, except that my main concern was perhaps having my hair shaved off, which didn't happen. I luckily got away with severe concussion (brain shaking) and partial memory loss. I later found out that this wonderful surgeon had in fact earlier put my boyfriend's leg back together (he had broken it in three places) and patched up another friend who had seriously broken her pelvis. After spending the next three weeks in Newmarket General, I asked to be discharged and was allowed to go home to rest in the flat I shared with four other girls. I had not informed my parents, and decided to go straight home to London, but I was feeling very wobbly. After another few weeks I was given the ok from the local GP, and returned to Newmarket. I was put back on a racehorse and the boss cracked a 'Long Tom'. It was sink or swim, no place for cissies. I was glad to get back on a horse, it was the only way not to lose your nerve. My stables were Cottrill's and I was lucky to look after a beautiful colt named Mighty Gurkha, I helped break him in and looked after him for two years. After leaving Newmarket at the advanced age of nearly 21, I followed 'my horse's' career. He had moved to another yard and later won a very important race. All my family and friends backed him, but I did not, thinking it would be bad luck. Never really understanding why horses were so important to me, I have since found looking back into my family history a strong connection with horses going back many generations, including a great-great-great-grandfather who was a colt breaker.
A memory shared byon May 8th, 2009.
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