Newmarket work rider Petra Sebestikova was one of the big winners at the world’s richest competition for stud and stable staff , the finals of which were held in London on Monday.
Thirty-nine-year-old Petra took the rider/groom category prize in the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff awards which are backed by Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding operation.
And receiving her trophy and £5,000 prize in a wheelchair from ITV Racing’s Ed Chamberlain and racing owner and former Liverpool and England football hero, Michael Owen, Petra demonstrated just how dangerous a work rider’s job can be.
A month ago the filly Petra was riding out for her boss, trainer Luca Cumani, reared up and fell back.
“She was trying to get up and panicked and rolled on me,” said Petra.
“It was just one of those accidents that can happen to anyone riding out.”
Petra was airlifted to hospital and was found to have fractured her pelvis in two places and broken her ankle. But she was determined to be in London for the award finals.
“I couldn’t believe it when my name was called as the winner,” said Petra.
“I was so happy and very emotional. What I enjoy most about my job is the horses. I am really proud, not just for myself but for the stable too. Thank you so much to everyone and to those who nominated me, I feel like I am representing all those who ride racehorses in winning.”
Petra won £5,000, as well as £5,000 to be shared by her colleagues at Bedford House Stables.
The other Newmarket finalists in the awards were Angela French and Peter Williams, runners-up for the Rory MacDonald community award; Ed Murrell runner-up for the leadership award; Danny James, runner-up for the stud staff award, and Faisal Tahir, runner-up for the rider/groom award.