Day At The Track

Hurt Peter Ferguson gives Dylan thumbs up

05:53 PM 23 Oct 2011 NZDT
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Peter Ferguson
Peter Ferguson
Garrick Knight Photo

Dylan Ferguson's big day was to have been next Saturday - until dad Peter Ferguson smashed up his thumb in a training accident. Now Fergy junior, 15 next week, has more than just his first workout drive to think about as he takes over the stable work - with the help of a few harness racing friends.

Fergy senior's incredibly lucky run of 27 years' driving without a serious accident came to an end last Wednesday when an unraced eight-year-old he was jogging took fright at something and started trying to boot him.

When the the former NZ champion got him under control - after ploughing into a fence and being tipped out of the cart - he was nursing a very sore hip and badly grazed elbow.

But when he looked down at his left hand and realised his thumb "wasn't where it should have been", he knew he was in trouble.

X-rays confirmed he had "a traumatic injury" and in an operation the thumb was reset, pinned, and put in a cast.

A warning that Ferguson must keep the hand immobile for six weeks, or risk long-term problems, has effectively ruined any chance he had of reuniting with star pacer Gold Ace when he starts his Australian campaign in three weeks.

The top horseman is still hoping he can make it back in time to pilot Stormy Sirroco in the Franklin Cup at the end of next month.

"But they've warned me that it's a very serious injury and if I don't do everything right I could have real problems later on.

"I suppose I've been lucky, this is the first time I've been hurt and haven't been able to keep driving - and I've been run over by half the field before and nearly impaled in a running rail smash at Te Aroha."

One of the first to volunteer his help to work Ferguson's team of 10 horses was long-time mate Tony Shaw, whom Ferguson helped during his prolonged fight back from a serious head injury on the track.

Junior driver Brady Jones and his father Alan have also stepped in to do the chores.

But it's son Dylan who has taken up most of the slack - coming home from a school holiday stint with Graeme Rogerson and Peter Blanchard. And, of course, Fergy, not one to sit idle, is still there to bark out the orders.

"I was issuing instructions yesterday when my wife Wendy told me to sit on a bucket and shut up."

Both will be sitting in the Cambridge grandstand on Saturday, proud parents, when Dylan, a graduate of Kidz Kartz and even a seasoned commentator, makes his long-awaited workout debut.

Courtesy of Barry Lichter and The Sunday Star Times


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