July 12, 2024

Jockey Graham Lee, a distinguished rider with victories in the Grand National and Group 1 races, has been relocated to a hospital in Middlesbrough, closer to his home. This move follows a serious spinal injury sustained in a fall at Newcastle on November 10, when he was riding Ben Macdui in a 5f handicap.

Since the incident, Lee has been under hospital care, undergoing surgery on November 14 to address fractures in his neck vertebrae and provide additional protection to his spinal cord. Positive progress following the operation allowed him to communicate with his family, raising hopes for a transfer closer to home.

In a recent statement by the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), it was revealed that Graham Lee has been moved to the spinal unit at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. He is expected to remain there for the “foreseeable future.” Although he is no longer in the Intensive Care Unit (ITU), he continues to require ventilator support, which can be adjusted as needed. The cervical injury to vertebrae C3/C4 has affected his movement. Despite these challenges, his family is grateful for the proximity to home and the ongoing support.

A fundraising effort initiated by Lee’s daughter, Amy, on JustGiving has garnered over £154,000 to aid in the rider’s recovery. Additionally, a breeding nomination to the new stallion Paddington will be auctioned at Tattersalls next month, with proceeds contributing to the fund courtesy of Coolmore.

The IJF, described as an “incredible charity” by Amy Lee, pledges unwavering support for Graham Lee’s recovery. The organization’s president and vice-president, Sir Anthony McCoy and Jack Berry, have assured that they will attend to his needs throughout the recovery process. Graham Lee, known for over 1,000 jumps victories, transitioned to Flat racing in 2012 and achieved notable successes, including winning the 2015 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot aboard Trip To Paris and the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes at York with Alpha Delphini.

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