GRAND NATIONAL hero Rachael Blackmore faces a spell on the sidelines after she had surgery overnight.
She unshipped from a horse at Killarney on Friday and was rushed to hospital after receiving treatment at the track.
She was reported to be in good spirits after her fractured ankle and hip was operated overnight.
Having steered Baltinglass Hill to a nose victory in the preceding race, the Grand National-winning rider was partnering 11-10 favourite Merry Poppins in the Download The BoyleSports App Handicap Hurdle when parting company at the fifth obstacle.
The 32-year-old was attended to on track by medics for almost half an hour before being moved into an ambulance.
In an update on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Twitter feed, senior medical officer Dr Jennifer Pugh said: "Rachael Blackmore sustained a fractured ankle and hip injury following her fall in Killarney on Friday evening.
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"She has had surgery overnight and is in good spirits this morning."
In March, Blackmore became the first woman to ride the winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, aboard the brilliant mare Honeysuckle, and her six winners at the Festival saw her crowned leading jockey.
The following month her profile reached stratospheric levels after she became the first woman to land the world's most famous steeplechase at Aintree aboard Minella Times.
No timescale has been put on her return just yet.
However, with the jumps season not getting into full swing until early winter, Blackmore is likely to be given all the time in the world to return to full fitness.
The Galway Festival begins in less than two weeks and Blackmore is now a huge doubt for that meeting.
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