Wesley Joyce (file pic). Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Limerick's Joyce celebrates first winner after 'hard journey' with serious injury

The 20-year-old has gone through a long recovery since a horror fall in July 2022.

LIMERICK JOCKEY WESLEY Joyce celebrated his first winner since returning from serious injury yesterday.

Joyce, 20, has gone through a long recovery after a horror fall at Galway in July 2022. The fall caused serious injury to Joyce’s chest and he was treated on track before being transferred to an intensive care unit. He was hospitalised until September ’22 with broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken shoulder and fractured larynx.

He made his comeback at Naas earlier this month, and in Cork yesterday, he enjoyed a long-awaited win on Trueba in the first division of the 7f handicap. 

“It’s been a while coming,” Joyce told Racing TV. “I’ve been hitting the crossbar in the past three or four weeks with three or four seconds and a couple of thirds. I was thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, when is the winner going to come?’ But Trueba came through.

“Trueba gave me a winner early in my career, in Limerick, so he’s been a good servant for me. Thanks to Eddie and the team down there, and thanks to everybody else for the support.”

“Since the fall the journey has been hard,” he continued in the heartwarming interview with Johnny Ward, “getting in the gym and doing things but to come back riding is all I ever wanted to do.

“I don’t want to do anything else. I just want to keep riding and whatever happens, happens. I’m so grateful to be here riding, especially riding a winner.”

Joyce said that he’s back to “100 percent fitness” but it hasn’t been easy. “I was told that I’d only have 80 percent of my breathing, so I have to work extra hard on my fitness, which I’ve been doing,” he explained.

“It’s great to have my mother here, it’s her first time to see me ride a winner. She’s happy out and that’s all I want: to make her happy.”

“We’re delighted,” Joyce’s mother, Geraldine, told The Racing Post. “I spent three three months in Galway Hospital with him and prayed every day that everything would be alright. I’m very proud of him.” 

- Additional reporting by Press Association

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