Wanganui jockey Thomas Russell is in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital with serious spinal injuries following a fall from a horse in Bulls on Thursday.
A Sunday newspaper has reported trainer Raymond Connors, whom Russell was riding for, was at a loss to explain how the jockey was so seriously injured.
Connors was alongside Russell at the time and said they had just got on to the track and were starting to switch from a trot to a canter when Russell's mount dropped its head, firing him over the top.
"I can't get my head round it. We were hardly even moving," Connors said.
"I saw him fall and it must have been just the way he landed.
"He's ridden that horse 100 times before," he said.
Russell has worked for Connors for the past 12 months.
Knocked out by the fall, he was taken to Palmerston North Hospital before being transferred to Christchurch.