You fear the worst when a half-tonne thoroughbred travelling at more than 30mph gallops into a man armed with nothing more than a bobble hat and a camera.
But award-winning racing photographer Pat Healy has lived to tell the tale, and is recovering at home after suffering only relatively minor injuries when bowled over by a horse in such circumstances at Navan on Sunday.
Thatsy and Entoucas fought out a thrilling finish to the opening www.navanracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle, with the pair coming close together on the run to the line after negotiating the final hurdle.
While Thatsy just edged in front to win, Entoucas crashed through the inside railing just after the post – colliding with Healy, who was stationed nearby and had no time to take evasive action.
Entoucas and his jockey, Mark Walsh, also suffered falls, but were unscathed.
Healy was taken to Blanchardstown Hospital by ambulance for further examination, but was discharged on Sunday evening.
He gave Racing TV permission to show the footage below.
His sister, Cathy, said: “He was back home in his own bed for 9pm last night – he wouldn’t stay in hospital any longer!
“He’s not broken anything. He’s obviously bruised and sore, but it’s the best possible outcome from what was a bad situation. It’s a miracle really."
Healy is one of the best-known faces on the Irish racing scene and, unperturbed, is set to make a swift return.
"He’s already saying he’ll be back racing in Fairyhouse this weekend, but we’ll see," Cathy said. “There’s nothing wrong with his camera finger, thank God!”
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