Harry Skelton, former champion jump jockey, will have to end his season early due to a shoulder injury he suffered in a fall at Cheltenham this week.
Skelton sustained the injury when his mount, Cheltenham, fell early in the Grade 2 Silver Trophy Handicap Chase on Wednesday. Although he has not broken any bones, he will have to rest for a couple of weeks following a consultation with a specialist on Friday.
Skelton will not be able to ride in the remaining fixtures of the British season, which ends next Saturday at Sandown. He will finish the season with 96 victories, not being able to achieve a third successive century of winners.
Skelton had a successful season, enjoying Cheltenham Festival success with Langer Dan in the Coral Cup and a big-race double on Grand National day with West Balboa and Midnight River. The leading rider also had a golden spell in November and early December, winning the Betfair Chase on Protektorat for his brother Dan, the Coral Gold Cup with Le Milos and the Becher Chase with Ashtown Lad.
Despite the setback, Skelton remains positive and grateful for his relatively injury-free career. He said that it is just part and parcel of the game and that he will have a quiet few weeks out now.
“It’s been a great season and it was really good to get some big winners, especially that run in the early part of the campaign and to do what we did at Aintree last week as well,” he added. “I’ll have a bit of down time now before returning in the new season.”