Best man Angland endures pain to reach altar
The bride-to-be was in tears and the groom was disappointed that he wouldn't have his best man by his side after doctors confirmed that jockey Tye Angland (pictured) had not only dislocated, but broken his shoulder in a fall at Sha Tin on Saturday.
However, that didn't stop Angland, 21, from rushing to the airport to make the long-haul flight back to Australia in time to perform his ceremonial duties at good mate and fellow jockey Grant Buckley's wedding in Sydney yesterday.
Angland had booked his ticket to fly out straight after the Chinese New Year meeting on the 8.15pm red-eye, and with a ride in the last race on Semos at 5.50pm, the schedule was always going to be tight. In the end, Angland was unable to fulfil his engagement in the last, and watched from Prince of Wales hospital as Semos finished an unlucky third, after a dramatic fall from Cerise Cherry in the home straight in the race prior.
'I had the fall and went straight to the hospital, I got there about 5.50pm and was out about 7.15pm and then went home, got changed and went straight to the airport by 8.15pm,'' Angland said from Sydney.
'My fianc?Erin was already here in Australia, and even getting dressed for the flight was painful and slow.'
Nine hours on a plane is uncomfortable for most travellers under normal circumstances, and with a broken shoulder, the effort would seem too much for even the most committed best man.
Not Angland. 'It wasn't the best flight I've ever had, but I'm glad I made it back in time for the wedding and I'll sort out my shoulder [today],' he said. 'They gave me plenty of pain killers for the plane, so I'm not sure if they need to be flushed from my system, but I am trying to book in to get it operated on, hopefully as early as [today]. I pretty much just got patched up at the hospital so I haven't seen anyone yet about how long I will be out of action.'
Angland had planned to fly back to Hong Kong on Tuesday in time to ride at Wednesday's Happy Valley meeting, but his stay in Australia is now likely to be extended until he has had surgery and begun to heal.
The former rodeo bull rider gave the Sha Tin crowd a brief demonstration of his skills before crashing to the turf on Saturday, and the injuries could have been far more serious had his natural instincts not kept him away from trailing horses.
'Cerise Cherry knuckled and the saddle slipped underneath me, I was sliding off but I grabbed on to the saddle cloth and tried to hold myself up, but it slipped through my hands and I went down,' he said.
'It was a bad feeling because I knew what was going to happen, usually when you fall it happens pretty quickly and you don't have time to do anything about it.'
A stewards' inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the fall has been adjourned until Angland is available to give evidence. Due to a shortage of jockeys for Saturday's Sha Tin meeting, British jockey Neil Callan has agreed to to ride.