Racehorse trainer Lyle Rowe, 79, is in Rockhampton Hospital with head injuries after an accident at Callaghan Park racecourse on Friday morning. Picture: File
Racehorse trainer Lyle Rowe, 79, is in Rockhampton Hospital with head injuries after an accident at Callaghan Park racecourse on Friday morning. Picture: File

Rocky trainer seriously injured in accident at racecourse

HORSE RACING: Lyle Rowe, one of Queensland's longest serving racehorse trainers, was seriously injured at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park racecourse early on Friday.

Rowe, 79, was leading a horse from the vicinity of his racecourse stables to the tie-up stalls on the racecourse about 5am when the accident happened.

Details are uncertain as it is believed the accident was not witnessed before Rowe was found unconscious on the ground and the horse was loose and cantering away.

However, it has been reported a "loud noise or thud" was heard at the time of the incident.

Stable hands and trainers came to Rowe's aid as he was unconscious and lying motionless on the ground.

It seems likely Rowe was either kicked by the horse in the head or he suffered severe head injuries as a result of his fall.

Shortly afterwards an ambulance took Rowe to the Rockhampton Hospital.

His wife Trish today said her husband sustained a fractured skull and bleeds on the brain.

"He is heavily sedated and it is very upsetting. He is in a bad way," she said.

Rowe became a household name in Queensland racing when in 1967 he rode the Con Doyle-trained Mr Hush to victory in the GR 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane.

For years he remained one of Brisbane's leading jockeys, riding for the Fred Best stable before transferring to Mackay and later Rockhampton where he rode prolific winners.

Since turning his hand to training in Rockhampton in the 1980s he has been one of the city's leading trainers for decades, winning multiple premierships.

Rowe, who turns 80 next month, belies his age with his physique, fitness level and demeanour and looks years younger.

His zeal and love for training racehorses is unlikely to wane when he recovers from his injuries.

He normally maintains a team of about 10 horses in training at Callaghan Park.

A hospital spokesperson late today listed Lyle Rowe's condition as "stable".

On behalf of his numerous racing industry stakeholders and friends, may this outlet and this journalist wish Lyle Rowe a speedy recovery and many winners to come.

Rowe has runners engaged at the Rockhampton Jockey Club races on Tuesday where Legal Chance looks one of his best winning prospects.


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