The riding career of Dwayne Dunn is in a holding pattern as he works to overcome a brain injury incurred in a frightening barrier incident.
Dwayne Dunn says his riding career remains in the balance as he battles to overcome a brain injury suffered in frightening barrier accident at The Valley last year.
The multiple Group 1 winner suffered a fractured vertebra when Shot Of Irish reared as the gates opened for a race last September when Dunn struck his head on a crossbar.
Dunn said if he had fallen from Shot Of Irish he would have been left a quadriplegic and while his recovery was based around getting his neck right which led to the brain injury not being diagnosed.
After a brief return in February, Dunn has been sidelined since and is unsure when he will make it back to the saddle.
“The first four weeks after the accident, I was fine and I could have got back on a horse and carried on, but the more that I’m doing, the worse it has got,” Dunn told RSN.
“Now I’ve got to a stage that if I get my heart rate up after a light jog, or running, I get vertigo and feel like I want to vomit.
“Everything else I can do. I can play golf, although I’m not playing it very well, walking is fine, it’s just when I get my heart-rate up.”
Dunn said hitting the crossbar in the barriers and to suffer the fracture six vertebrae away, shows the extent of the force of the blow.
He said if that same force had hit his chin, he would have been knocked out.
Tests Dunn has undertaken continue to show brain trauma injury, but he is undergoing physiotherapy in a bid to rewire the brain.
He said Racing Victoria doctor Gary Zimmerman believes the jockey will make a return to race riding.
“Swinging in the breeze is the hardest thing,” Dunn said.
“Gary says I’m not too far off, but Group 1 racing is what it is all about.”