Jockey Raquel Clark slowly recovering after fall in Adelaide last month

Clark returns to scale after riding Dalasan to victory at Flemington in September. Picture: Racing Victoria.
Clark returns to scale after riding Dalasan to victory at Flemington in September. Picture: Racing Victoria.

Jockey Raquel Clark says she will take as much time as she needs before jumping back in the saddle as the slow road to recovery continues following last month's frightening fall.

Clark has been recuperating back home at Penguin for the past fortnight, but headed back to Adelaide on Wednesday night for another appointment with her doctor this week.

While the 26-year-old insists she is still keen to ride again, she is under no illusions that the road to a full health will be a long one after suffering serious head trauma when her horse, Goodgee, rolled on top of her after a race at Morphettville on November 9.

"Recovery has been really slow to be honest," Clark told The Advocate.

"Hopefully after this next appointment back in South Australia I'll know more, but literally it has been slow and steady wins the race.

"I'm still sleeping a lot, and I was having a nap every day, but it's only this week I haven't been having one.

"Mind you, if I go to bed at 10pm I'll sleep through to 12pm the next day and that's usually without waking.

"The rest of my body is quite okay, it's more so my brain - I really did some damage to it.

"The doctor gave me scale of it - when football players have five of what happened to my brain they have to have to have three weeks off everything and I've had over 30 in mine.

"Those scans were six days after the fall so I can't imagine what they would have been like on the day I actually had the fall."

Clark still has no recollection of the incident that saw her taken immediately to Royal Adelaide Hospital, but released the next evening.

The rest of my body is quite okay, it's more so my brain - I really did some damage to it.

Raquel Clark

However an initial examination afterwards from her own doctor found the damage to be far worse, although Clark feels she may not have helped her own cause.

"My doctor said he couldn't believe what happened, but apparently because I am so strong-minded, I wanted to go home and kept on saying that," Clark said.

"They eventually said they would let me out but the doctor had a lot different outlook on what the hospital did."

During the last three weeks, Clark said recovery has been the main focus rather than entertaining the thought that she might not be able to ride again.

However there will be no stopping her if she does get the tick of approval.

No rush: North-West jockey Raquel Clark will take as much time as she needs to recover from a serious fall in Adelaide last month. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

No rush: North-West jockey Raquel Clark will take as much time as she needs to recover from a serious fall in Adelaide last month. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

"I'm just letting December go by and I'll think about everything when I'm on better terms with everything," Clark said.

"They told me to not put this recovery on a timeline as to when you'll get back to race riding but more about being 100 per cent in your brain again.

"At the end of the day there are a lot of races but you only get one brain and one body, so I'll take as much time as I need.

"But my family knows I'll do what I want to do anyway, and there's no point trying to tell me what to do.

"I've never been one to take advice and they know how much I love riding horses."

Clark also thanked her fellow jockeys for all the support they have given her during her time away from the track.

"At the end of the day there are a lot of races but you only get one brain and one body, so I'll take as much time as I need.

Raquel Clark

"I've had a lot of jockeys ring me up and give me plenty of advice which has been really good," Clark said.

"I've still got messages in my inbox that I haven't replied to yet because I had so many."

This story Time needed for Clark's recovery first appeared on The Advocate.