Young rider Romario Smith waiting on surgery after getting a stroke in the saddle

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Apprentice Romario Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Apprentice Romario Smith, who apparently got a stroke while in the saddle after finishing the fifth race aboard Crafty Zella Zeen on Wednesday, is up to news time, still awaiting surgery to repair some of the effects of the stroke.

Smith, who started his racing career in September 2018 after graduating from the Jamaica Racing Commission’s (JRC) Jockeys’ Training School, was rushed to hospital where a computerised tomography (CT) scan was done.

Following the scan, Smith was moved from the first hospital to another hospital where an additional CT scan is to be performed before he undergoes surgery.

Reports on Wednesday from the racetrack indicated that Smith, after falling from Crafty Zella Zeen while pulling up his mount, looked wobbly and was having difficulty standing.

The medical personnel on duty on the day rushed to the scene and were able to place the young rider in the ambulance using a stretcher.

Chief steward at the JRC, Antoine Nembhard, confirmed the situation regarding Smith.

“We are aware of the medical situation currently being faced by Smith, and our apprentice supervisors will be monitoring the situation to provide further updates,” Nembhard said. “It is regrettable what has happened to the young man, and we at the JRC offer our best wishes for a speedy recovery.”

Jockey Shane Ellis, who is president of the Jockeys’ Guild, also extended his best wishes for a speedy return to the saddle by Smith while stating that the guild would be doing all that it can to give support.

“Smith, although not a member of the guild, is still with us as a rider, and as such we will try to give some form of assistance,” Ellis offered.