WESLEY Joyce remains in intensive care at University Hospital Galway this weekend but he has made significant progress and is now breathing independently, and is “fully alert and responsive.”

Dr Jennifer Pugh, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s senior medical officer, provided an update on the 19-year-old’s condition on Friday morning. “Wesley has continued to make significant progress throughout the week. He is breathing on his own but remains in ICU at University Hospital Galway for the moment,” she said.

“Wesley is fully alert and responsive and, while he will require a considerable period of rehabilitation, he has made major progress over the last seven days and is continuing to recover well from his injuries. We continue to be thankful for the level of care Wesley has received from the team at University Hospital Galway, along with the pre-hospital care he received on course at Galway Racecourse immediately after his fall by the IHRB medical team, the Order of Malta ambulance service and the Galway Racecourse doctors.”

Joyce sustained his injuries last Thursday week when riding in a listed race at Galway. His mount was disputing the lead when, at the road crossing, the horse appeared to stumble and unseat the rider. Joyce was reported to have sustained major trauma to his chest in the fall and was put on a ventilator at University Hospital Galway.

From Moyross in Co Limerick, Joyce has ridden 20 winners in just over a year and is apprenticed to trainer Johnny Murtagh.

Townend injury

Paul Townend is set for a few weeks on the sidelines as he rests a hand injury he sustained at Galway. The 31-year-old champion jump jockey was stood down on the final day of the meeting after injuring his thumb in a first fence fall.

Willie Mullins reported mid-week: “Paul said he didn’t think it was as bad as he thought it was at first, so he’s just going to rest it for a few weeks and let it come right.”