Wife feared horseman might have been killed

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014
Jim Bond
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
ON THE MEND: Harness racing driver Jim Bond in Southland Hospital yesterday recovering from his injuries.

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For a brief moment, Colleen Bond thought her husband might have died.

Bond was driving to the Wyndham race meeting on Saturday when she heard on the radio that husband Jim had been involved in a race fall.

He was in a sulky driving Colleen Bond's horse Aye One when the crash happened.

Arriving at the course, Colleen Bond asked a racegoer if Jim was OK.

"They said he hadn't moved. I thought, 'Oh my God has he died?"'

Bond was knocked unconscious. Paramedics attended to him before he was taken to Southland Hospital.

"I can't remember a damn thing [about falling]," he said from Southland Hospital yesterday.

"I've never been knocked out before."

The Mataura horseman can only remember seeing the horse next to him moving in and its sulky shaft getting under his shaft. Bond's sulky lifted and tipped him out at the start of the race, which was a mobile start.

Within 20 seconds of the fall the race was called off for safety reasons. Jim Bond was lying motionless on the track. Aye One lost some skin but was otherwise fine.

"I came to in the ambulance at Dacre," Jim Bond said. "I said to the [paramedic], ‘where am I?"'

He found out yesterday he had five broken ribs, not three as initially thought. Also broken is his left collarbone, a bone in his pelvis, two bones in his face, including a cheekbone, and he has bruised lungs. He was still on oxygen yesterday.

Jim Bond doubts he will race drive again.

"I think it's history. I'll work a couple at home . . . next year I might get a matinee and trials licence."

Colleen Bond said she had received many phone calls and text messages from people throughout New Zealand and some from Australia wishing her husband a speedy recovery.

"It's lovely people care and take time to ring . . . that's pretty special."

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- The Southland Times

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