This is the painful moment an unlucky jockey broke his jaw on a rival horse’s hoof after it somersaulted during a race.
Shocking images show racing horse Diamond Dark fall in a horrific tumble at the biggest fence of a cross-country race in Craon, France.
Erwan Bureller’s horse, Sulfite, is already too late to swerve out the way, leaving one of Diamond Dark’s flailing hooves to smash into the jockey’s face.
One grisly image shows the hoof smashing into Bureller’s lower jaw, with the upper jaw perched over the top of the hoof as the bone breaks during the steeple-chase.
Here’s the moment Diamond Dark (horse number 5) walloped unlucky jockey, Erwan Bureller (pictured with yellow and green striped arms), with his flailing hoof as the jockey made his way round the de la Touche racetrack in Craon, France
Though Bureller suffered a fractured jaw, this was the only injury and the other jockey, Romain Julliot (pictured left with yellow and green diamond riding clothing), and the two horses escaped the ordeal unscathed
Diamond Dark’s hoof can be seen impacting through Bureller’s face and his bottom jaw disappearing from the impact and his top jaw placed above it. The man who snapped these images said he wouldn’t have shared them had the injuries been worse
Miraculously, the two horses reportedly escaped unscathed despite the painful-looking fall. Bureller’s fractured jaw was the only injury suffered by the two jockeys.
Professional horse racing photographer Jean-Charles Briens, 55, snapped the painful photo at the Hippodrome de la Touche racetrack in Craon, France, on Sunday.
Jean-Charles said: ‘As I was taking pictures I saw Diamond Dark make a bad jump and when he fell Sulfite couldn’t do anything to avoid it.
‘I want to tell you, I am really sorry for the injured jockey, Erwan Bureller,’ he added.
Before the strike, Julliot (pictured left), can be seen diving as his horse Diamond Dark falls on the highest fence on the track. Despite its popularity, horse racing is a dangerous sport for both the jockey and the horses. Since 2000, 30 horses have died at the Grand National a National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, England
Julliot can be seen (left) beginning to tumble as he touches the ground in a similar to Diamond Dark. Bureller who is positioned to the right of the shot is just breaching the fence and looks as though well prepared to clear the jump, despite Diamond Dark’s weighty body standing upright before him
Julliot appears safe while Diamond Dark is still upside down. Bureller and his horse, Sulfite, are a little closer to clearing the jump, oblivious to what’s in store for the unlucky jockey. Horse jumps can stand as tall as 5ft 3in, the size of a person
As Julliot moves out of the way Bureller and Sulfite enter the point of no return. Diamond Dark’s legs appear quite still up until now where his hind left leg can be seen cocking itself back. Bureller’s line appears to be headed towards the horse’s hoof
Here again is the painful moment jockey, Erwan Bureller, and his jaw, can be seen colliding with the mighty hoof of a rival horse. According to a witness, after the booting, the jockeys and horses were ‘immediately’ up
Had the injuries been worse for the horses or jockeys, Briens said he would ‘never have published this picture.’
Briens, who has been a professional horse racing photographer for more than 30 years and travels all over the world for the job, said in this kind of race the risks of falling are frequent.
He said: ‘I’ve seen many, many situations like this in my career and immediately after the fall, the horses and jockeys were up.’
The photographer, who lives near Angers, France, said the only injury from the collision is a fracture to Bureller’s jaw.
He said the other jockey, Romain Julliot, and the two horses involved in the fall have recovered without problems.
The photo above was taken moments after the monstrous hoof to the jaw and Bureller’s head can be seen recoil as Sulfite falls on Diamond Dark. Despite the appearance of the impact and the somersault, Bureller’s was the only injury and both horses escaped unscathed