I’ve been receiving some odd looks recently. No one comments, they just stare. It’s all down to my new front teeth. A pricey set of veneers I finally decided to purchase after a year of deliberating.
“Do I really need them?” I would ask myself time and again, cursing as my tongue caught sharply on the fragmented pieces of enamel which once resembled a matching pair of front teeth.
My final ride in a race four years ago ended in a fall and my teeth came off worst, three chipped incisors and a front tooth cracked in two. My dentist repeatedly glued and filed new bits on to them like a jigsaw. For a few weeks I looked slightly more presentable but each time the fix was short-lived, bits would drop out as I ate, slept or worked.
The decision to invest in a pair of serious teeth came when the dentist pointed out it was my 20th visit to him in two years. I was seeing him as frequently as my boyfriend and paying for the pleasure. So the new teeth were moulded, fitted and cemented in a few months ago. They aren’t perfect but then I wouldn’t want them to be.
I shied away from the pearly white gleamers preferred by reality TV stars and had to draw the line when the dentist pulled out photos from Hello! magazine. It is a relief not to worry about them any longer. Okay, so maybe I have developed a lisp and something of a spit problem but it’s nothing Esther Rantzen didn’t learn to deal with.
There was carnage at last weekend’s York and Ainsty point to point meeting with three experienced jockeys taking stiff falls in the nine race card. Emma Todd aboard Dead Ringa was the first to get the St John ambulance staff running when she suffered a crashing fall in the Hunt Race. She was down for some time but thankfully suffered just broken ribs and hopes to return to the saddle in a few weeks’ time.
The race was won by the consistent Opera Og. Next Freya Hartley took a nasty tumble in the Ladies when her mount Young Hurricane looked to have every chance two out. They suffered a rotational fall which looked far worse than it was, both horse and jockey walked away unscathed.
The fastest and most unexpected fall was to follow in the Mens Open when Know The Rules, a three-time course winner, fell four out and the toughest jockey in the weighing room Chris Dawson tasted the Easingwold dirt.
Whilst down his face was stood on by a proceeding runner and Chris was taken to York hospital. X-rays showed he had displaced his jaw, broken his cheekbone and nose, lost his bottom teeth and shattered his palate.
Two days later Chris underwent an eight-hour operation to rebuild his palate. The operation was not without risk as the surgeon had to go in behind his eye sockets to plate the roof of his mouth.
Luckily all went well and he is on the mend although the next few months will be a slow process of rehabilitation as Chris waits for his dashing good looks to return so he can get on with the important task of looking for a farmer’s wife - I’ve told him I can recommend a good dentist when the time comes, although some may argue.
With 52 horses to muck out at home I suspect he will be itching to return to work or find a girlfriend to do it for him.