Jockey Aidan MacDonald in a critical condition two weeks after heavy fall

Jockey Aidan MacDonald is in a critical condition in hospital a fortnight after he fell heavily in a race at Hexham.

The young conditional was injured when Russian Royale came down in the Welcome To Hexham 2021 Conditional Jockeys’ Mares’ Handicap Hurdle on March 18.

Rushed to hospital following the incident involving the Micky Hammond-trained runner, he was later discharged.

On Wednesday however he was taken ill, which led to the Injured Jockeys Fund releasing a statement which said: "Conditional Jockey Aidan MacDonald had a fall at Hexham racecourse on March 18 and went to the RVI (Royal Victoria Infirmary) in Newcastle, from where he received extensive testing and was subsequently discharged.

“Yesterday, after being taken ill, he went in an ambulance to the James Cook Middlesbrough Hospital. He is in a critical condition and receiving active treatment for a suspected carotid artery dissection.

"Aidan’s parents kindly ask for privacy at this difficult time.”

MacDonald fell from his mount, sent off at 22-1 in the betting, three hurdles away from the finish.

The 11-year-old horse was up afterwards as medics gave assistance to the young sportsman at the meeting, which coincided with Cheltenham 2021.

Horse racing broadcaster Matt Chapman tweeted: "During @CheltenhamRaces Festival I mentioned on @itvracing conditional Aidan MacDonald had a horror fall @HexhamRaces.

"He is now in a critical condition and receiving active treatment for a suspected carotid artery dissection. All we can do is hope…"

A day after the fall, MacDonald retweeted an update about his injuries, which included 'concussion' and made him 'very sore.'

Racing fans and professionals throughout the industry have sent him their best wishes on social media.

One said: "Thinking of Aidan MacDonald and his family right now. Awful news to hear! Keeping everything crossed for a speedy recovery."

Retired Grand National winning rider Mick Fitzgerald told Sky Sports Racing: "It's a really worrying time for the family and I wish them all the very best."

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