Monday 30 August 2010

Choc has joined the Racing Post as a columnist, and his first article appeared in today’s issue. 

Choc explained details of his physiotherapy regime, how he is keeping busy during his absence, and his invitation from Sir Alex Ferguson to visit Manchester United in early October.


He also named three young horses trained by Alan King that he’s looking forward to seeing run this season – Franklino, Turn Over Sivola and Medinas.

Please click here to see my regular overview of his ongoing columns. 

Friday 27 August 2010

News that Choc and Wayne Hutchinson visited Barbury Castle yesterday to watch Alan King’s horses being schooled. 


Wayne has been given the go-ahead to resume ‘riding out’ from next Monday; but it appears that Choc is beginning to think that his own progress is slow.  But I’m wondering if that is because his friends (Wayne and Tom Siddall) have been permitted to ride again, albeit on the gallops, and he’s now beginning to feel left out?  Poor Choc L

Monday 23 August 2010

The Racing Post picked up on Geoff Lester’s most recent blog on Alan King’s website, reporting the good progress Choc is making:

Saturday 21 August 2010

Choc travelled to Newton Abbot today to appear live alongside Jason Weaver and Luke Harvey on ATR’s The Weighing Room programme; and later in the morning on Racing News too from the same venue. 

Choc confirmed that he has been permitted to dispense with his leg brace.  He is undergoing physio at the IJF’s Oaksey House in Lambourn on an almost daily basis.  Full mobility in his knee should return within the next 6-week period, the major hurdle being the ability to completely straighten his leg.   His current hope and aim is to return in early to mid-January. 

And another article from the Gloucestershire local press today – in which Choc and Tom Siddall pay tribute to the work carried out by the IJF:

I paid a visit to Oaksey House during my trip to the Lambourn Open Day last April, and took a tour of the excellent facilities available for the injured jockeys.  It is well worth a visit if you get the opportunity ... and don’t forget to buy an item or three from their fundraising range ... my friends have been receiving IJF birthday cards from me this year!  

Here is the link to the IJF’s Oaksey House page:

Friday 20 August 2010

Having surfed the net, I found these ‘Choc / Manchester United’ articles on the Gloucestershire press website:


This one elaborates on the news reported via the above link:


Wednesday 18 August 2010

Meally Thornton’s regular Eclipse diary appeared today, and she recounts details of her sister’s wedding, a little more regarding Choc’s progress, exciting news that Choc will be appearing in the media and in print soon too, and their tentative holiday plans:


Thursday 12 August 2010

Geoff Lester’s current blog, on Alan King’s website, reports that Choc is making steady progress and improves with every visit he makes to the physio.  Choc’s next appointment with his surgeon is scheduled for next Thursday, 19 August.


Today, Choc and Richard Johnson met up for lunch with trainer Richard Phillips and racehorse owner/breeder Liz Prowting to celebrate the latter’s birthday.  Liz was a great friend of trainer David Nicholson (The Duke), and an enjoyable time was spent reminiscing.


It also appears that there are plans afoot for the Adlestrop Club to hold an evening celebrating the life and times of David Nicholson early in the New Year!


Monday 09 August 2010

The Adlestrop annual charity cricket match took place on 09 August 2010, the local Adlestrop team facing trainer Richard Phillips’ Invitational XI. 


Warren Marston was a member of the Invitational team – but evidently his bowling left much to be desired.  However he redeemed himself with some brilliant batting, but it was not enough to win the match.


And, having returned from his sister-in-law’s wedding in Yorkshire, Choc was on hand to pick out the prize winning raffle tickets.  The raffle was held in aid of the Adlestrop cricket club and, fittingly, The Injured Jockeys Fund.


Monday 02 August 2010

Another progress report, this time via his wife Meally’s blog on the Eclipse website, wherein she also reveals whether their baby is a ‘mini-Meally or a ‘mini-Choc’!


Meally’s Latest Eclipse Blog

Sunday 01 August 2010

The local press in Gloucestershire has picked up upon the good news regarding Choc, and have published a report on their website:


Friday 30 July 2010

Following Choc’s most recent visit to see his surgeon, the very welcome news is that with the continuing physiotherapy he’s making excellent progress and has stopped using crutches or any other support on his injured knee! J 

Monday 26 July 2010

Choc attended another physiotherapy session last Thursday and is beginning to regain a little more movement in his right knee; he is due to visit his surgeon, John Webb, this coming Thursday (29 July) for a progress check-up.

Martin Keighley reports that Choc and Meally, Tom Siddall, Wayne Hutchinson and Warren Marston were ‘lunching’ at The Plough in Ford yesterday …

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Trainer Kim Bailey went to see injured jockey Jason Maguire at Gloucester Hospital yesterday, only to discover both Choc and Tom Siddall (amongst others) were already visiting!  


Unfortunately the hospital room proved so small, that Kim had insufficient room to take a photograph of jockeys ‘past and present’ – Jason and Tom being his current jockeys (when fit) and Choc having been stable jockey for Kim in the early noughties!


Tuesday 20 July 2010

Choc’s wife, Meally, has written a new blog for the Eclipse website, giving an overview of his recent injury.  She has included a photograph taken prior to his operation of the horrendous bruise on Choc’s right thigh, and also a picture of him laying on his hospital bed following surgery.


And, as an added bonus, Meally has included a scan of their baby too!

Meally Thornton’s Eclipse Blog Update


Yesterday, trainer Kim Bailey spotted Choc and Tom Siddall, along with jockey (and chauffeur) Sean Quinlan, taking a long lunch at the Hollow Bottom pub in Guiting Power!


Saturday 17 July 2010

It was lovely to see Choc appear as one of the studio special guests (along with Richard Hannon Junior) on Channel 4’s Morning Line from Newbury today.  Choc appears to be in very good form, despite his recent injury setback.  Choc wore a pinstripe suit jacket and jeans, the latter being the only trousers he can currently wear due to the knee protection.


He spoke about setting his goal to return during January and work forward from there, rather than the twelve months worst case scenario and working back from that ... 


Choc also mentioned that he had chatted with trainer Paul Nicholls, and now hopes to make contact with Sir Alex Ferguson to ask for help from Manchester United’s physiotherapy team, as his type of injury is a common problem amongst football players.  Although Choc did say that footballers usually damage just one or two knee ligaments, not three! 


He visited his own physiotherapist yesterday, to discuss how he might retain his upper body strength during the initial stages of his recovery.


Choc also paid a visit to injured jockey Tom Siddall earlier in the week; Tom having undergone an operation at the Manor Hospital in Oxford to fuse vertebrae in his neck.  Choc relaying the ‘gory’ details (he just loves ‘gory’ descriptions) ... evidently an operation similar to that carried out on Mick Fitzgerald following his Grand National fall.


Choc has made initial contact with ‘Jets’ (the Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme) and will shortly be discussing what suitable training courses he might undertake in preparation for when he retires from race riding in a few years’ time.  And, of course, it will be a very constructive use of his time whilst he’s on the sidelines.


Choc then spent the remainder of the day with his ‘feet up’, as his leg tends to swell when he’s been moving around on it ...


Wednesday 14 July 2010

It was Choc’s 32nd birthday today and he received a visit from trainer Alan King, who found him in a ‘positive’ mood and ‘very upbeat’.  Choc’s pain had subsided and he was able to move around with the aid of crutches. 


Alan King also reported that once Choc is a little more mobile, he will pay a visit to Alan’s yard to watch the horses being schooled.


The plan is for Choc to make his first visit to the physiotherapist on Friday 16 July. 


Tuesday 13 July 2010

There is further Choc related news today, as I found these links, although Choc reported that he was in the ‘greatest pain ever’ L before his wife Meally came to the rescue and organised his post-operation ‘painkiller regime’.

(Yes, I know this is the same article, but a different piccie!)  

Sunday 11 July 2010

A newspaper article from the Wiltshire press, outlining Alan King’s ‘jockey’ predicament, as his second string jockey, Wayne Hutchinson, is also out of action through injury and not expected to return until the end of August.

Friday 09 July 2010

Good news following Choc’s knee operation.  It is reported to have been a success and Choc has been allowed to return home.


Thursday 08 July 2010

The remedy for Choc’s injury was surgery, which was carried out on Thursday 08 July at St Mary’s Hospital in Bristol, whereby ligament was taken from his left hamstring to undertake the repairs. 


Sadly, and devastatingly for all concerned, it may take anything up to 12 months for Choc to make a full recovery from his injury, although being of determined spirit I’m sure he will endeavour to return earlier, all being well.


Here are links to a number of early reports relating to the seriousness of his injury:


Monday 05 July 2010

On Monday 05 July 2010, Choc travelled to Newton Abbot to take up two riding engagements, the second of which was aboard the Paul Nicholls trained Hell’s Bay.


Turning into the home straight, Choc was disputing the lead with the David Pipe trained Swing Bill, when Hell’s Bay decided to crash out through the inside wing of the penultimate fence, throwing him to the ground.  However, Choc sustained an injury to his right knee during the incident.


Having been taken to hospital for a precautionary x-ray on his knee, which revealed no broken bones, a later scan revealed that he had severed three of the four ligaments (the medial collateral ligament, the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament).


Click here to see a diagram showing the ligaments of the knee:



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