Jockey in coma wakes and speaks first words after falling from horse in Grafton, NSW; Leah Kilner

The heartwarming five words a young female jockey said after waking up from a coma following a horror mid-race fall where she was trampled by her horse

  • A jockey has emerged from a coma after suffering a horrific fall from her horse 
  • After waking up, Leah Kilner, 24, told her family: ‘Don’t give away the horses’
  • Leah was thrown from her filly, Stella Turn, and trampled in Grafton, NSW
  • She underwent emergency surgery to ‘release the pressure on her brain’

A rising female jockey who was thrown from her horse during a race and trampled on has emerged from a coma and spoken her first words: ‘Don’t give away the horses.’

Leah Kilner, 24, was thrown from her filly, Stella Turn, during a race in Grafton in the New South Wales northern rivers region earlier this month.

Terrifying footage showed the horse stumble about 75m from the finish line, catapulting Kilner onto the track and under the hooves of the animal.

But despite the horror incident, her first thoughts after waking up were for her beloved horses.

Young horse racing star Leah Kilner (pictured) has emerged from her come after falling from her horse during a race, telling her family: 'Don't give away the horses'

Young horse racing star Leah Kilner (pictured) has emerged from her come after falling from her horse during a race, telling her family: ‘Don’t give away the horses’

The 24-year-old was thrown from her filly, Stella Turn, and trampled during a race in Grafton in the New South Wales northern rivers region earlier this month

The 24-year-old was thrown from her filly, Stella Turn, and trampled during a race in Grafton in the New South Wales northern rivers region earlier this month

‘Leah must have thought I was going to give up training because of all this, and she didn’t want me to,’ Her father Gary Kilner told News Corp.

‘It is unbelievable how she has come through, it’s really a miracle, if you had seen her in the first couple of days it was just heartbreaking,’ he continued.

The accident left Kilner in a coma with serious spinal and head injuries, where she required machines to live.

She underwent surgery to ‘release the pressure on her brain’ at Brisbane‘s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The young jockey also had a broken collar bone and broken ribs due to the accident.

While she has woken up, she will still need to spend the next few months in hospital.

Kilner was shifted from intensive care to a hospital ward, where her father revealed she flicked her TV onto the races straight away after she was transferred.

He said his daughter still has a ‘lot of pain in her shoulder’ due to her broken bones, but claimed the hospital staff were overall pleased with her recovery. 

‘She has got to have a (cognitive) scan when she gets a little bit better but I think they are very happy with her progress.’

Kilner was left in a coma with serious spinal and head injuries after the accident. She had surgery to  'release the pressure on her brain' at Brisbane 's Princess Alexandra Hospital

Kilner was left in a coma with serious spinal and head injuries after the accident. She had surgery to  ‘release the pressure on her brain’ at Brisbane ‘s Princess Alexandra Hospital

The jockey has since been on the mend in hospital, with doctors 'pleased' with her recovery. Father Gary Kilner said his daughter can now recognise faces and is 'aware of everything'

The jockey has since been on the mend in hospital, with doctors ‘pleased’ with her recovery. Father Gary Kilner said his daughter can now recognise faces and is ‘aware of everything’

Kilner fell from Stella Turn as the field galloped along the home straight in the third race of the day in Grafton.

Her horse stumbled close to the finish line causing her to fall forward and get trampled.

Ambulance officers ran on to the track to help the fallen rider, but an hour passed before she was taken by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to the hospital.

‘Because there was such a long delay of more than an hour before Kilner was airlifted from the course, there was a great wave of concern for her from the other jockeys,’ Clarence River Jockey Club chief executive Michael Beattie said. 

Kilner’s family, including her father who is a horse trainer, were both at the track and saw the horrific incident unfold. 

Kilner (pictured) was thrown from Stella Turn during the third race day in Grafton and trampled. Her family Kilner's family were at the track and saw the horrific incident unfold

Kilner (pictured) was thrown from Stella Turn during the third race day in Grafton and trampled. Her family Kilner’s family were at the track and saw the horrific incident unfold

Ambulance officers ran on to the track to help the fallen rider, but an hour passed before she was taken by Westpac Rescue Helicopter (pictured) to the hospital

Ambulance officers ran on to the track to help the fallen rider, but an hour passed before she was taken by Westpac Rescue Helicopter (pictured) to the hospital

Kilner is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming jockeys, riding more than 200 winners

Kilner is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming jockeys, riding more than 200 winners

Stella Turn was euthanised after the accident, while the remaining six races of the meet were postponed.

‘It was clear (the jockeys) were in a mindset not to ride so I had a discussion with stewards and felt in it was everyone’s best interests to postpone the rest of the meeting,’ Mr Beattie said. 

He suspects the cause of the crash was that the horse simply overbalanced and couldn’t get its hoof back in a ‘good spot’.

Kilner is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming jockeys in the country, riding more than 200 winners during her short career.

She narrowly missed out on the all-time record of 54 victories in the 2021-22 racing season after crossing the line in first place 46 times.

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