Groundbreaking Melbourne Cup winning-jockey Michelle Payne reveals shocking health struggle that was so bad she vomited non-stop for FOUR DAYS
- Payne has opened up on dire results of falls
- Jockey has broken vertebrae, fractured her skull
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Michelle Payne’ history-making career as one of the country’s top jockeys won her a Melbourne Cup and an Order of Australia Medal – but now she has revealed it also left her in a dire health battle after suffering a series of concussions.
The 37-year-old stopped the nation when she rode Prince of Penzance to victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup – but says she soon went from being ‘top of the world to everything just stopping’ as a result of severe head knocks and falls.
Payne endured six major concussions in her career on the track, including a horror fall at Sandown that left her with bruising to the brain and a fractured skull in 2004 when she was just 18.
In 2012 another fall saw her fracture four vertebrae and suffer broken ribs and a cracked collarbone – but her health troubles didn’t end there.
‘I fell in a Blue Diamond Prelude and that was onw of my worst concussions,’ she told News Corp.
Payne made history with her 2015 Melbourne Cup win – but paid a high price for her career on the track after suffering several horror falls
The history-making hoop shared this photo after being airlifted to hospital after falling in a race in Mildura in May 2016
‘I was sent home with a fracture to my C2 [vertebrae] and in a neck brace and at 2am the next morning I was on the floor of the bathroom vomiting and shaking, and it was really awful.
‘The next few days I couldn’t stop sleeping and that was also a worry because in some concussions you don’t wake up. But I couldn’t help it.
‘After other concussions I vomited all day, every day for four days.
‘Sometimes making a five-minute hourney in the car took 30 minutes to stop to be sick every 50 metres or so before we could move again
‘Probably looking back, I think I should have been kept in hospital under supervision for these concussions.’
Pictured: The scarring left behind after doctors had to reattach part of Payne’s pancreas after the fall at Mildura
Payne embraces her brother, strapper Stevie, after riding Prince of Penzance to victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup
Payne has no issues with the medical treatment she received during her career, saying she’s confident in the processes jockeys have to go through before they’re allowed to return to the track after suffering falls and head knocks.
However, she is worried about the possibility of ongoing damage since seeing football players who have been through multiple concussions go on to suffer severe depression and even become suicidal.
‘I obviously pray that doesn’t happen to me with the amount of serious head traumas I had,’ she said.
In 2016 Payne was earning just $190 for riding in a race in Mildura in country Victoria when she fell from her horse, suffered serious abdominal injuries and had to be airlifted to hospital.
Her groundbreaking Melbourne Cup win was turned into the movie Ride Like A Girl, which saw her played by actress Teresa Palmer in 2019.