Update: Ricky May suffered serious incident at Omakau

by Michael Guerin

Champion driver Ricky May is in a stable condition but still critical condition in Dunedin Hospital after a shocking collapse at the Omakau races yesterday.

May collapsed in the sulky after suffering what was thought to be a heart attack when driving favourite A G’s White Socks in front in the day’s feature race the Central Otago Cup.

May fell backwards seemingly unconscious in the sulky while the horse continued on and then fell to the track.

May was rushed to Dunedin Hospital by Air Ambulance but close friend Laurence Hanrahan says this morning’s update is more positive.

“The doctors have been able to stabilise Rick,” says the fellow Mid-Canterbury horseman.

“And they are not saying exactly what the problem is. They are calling it a medical event and saying it could have ben caused by a number of factors.”

Yesterday’s race, the Central Otago Cup was quickly called off and medical crews rushed to work on May but it is believed young female driver Ellie Barron, who was not participating in the race, was one of the first people to May and performed CPR on him.

He was then attended to by medical professionals who were in the crowd, including an off-duty intensive care doctor.

May spent over an hour being stabilised by the local ambulance crews before first one then another Air Ambulance arrived to help.

He was diagnosed as being in a critical condition and it was deemed too dangerous to airlift him to hospital immediately but a helicopter taking him to Dunedin Hospital eventually lifted off at 6.15pm on Thursday night.

May has reined nearly 3000 race winners in New Zealand, making him the third most success driver in the industry’s history and has won our greatest race, the New Zealand Trotting Cup seven times.

He has also reined countless major winners including winning the Miracle Mile, Sydney’s greatest harness race twice.

May, married with children, is based in Methven in Mid-Canterbury and is an immensely popular member of not only the harness racing industry but the wider New Zealand racing community.

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