Racing community rallies to support Norvall

Rogan Norvall and Peggy Erikson with the prizes in the raffles, just part of the donations to help the injured popular Cambridge jockey.

Rogan Norvall and Peggy Erikson with the prizes in the raffle, just part of the donations to help the injured popular Cambridge jockey.

A “Speedy Recovery” barbeque for injured Cambridge jockey Rogan Norvall will be held at the Group One Turf Bar in Cambridge on Sunday.

This function, which begins at 1pm, is part of the outpouring of support for Norvall, who suffered three breaks to his left leg in a barrier accident at the Te Aroha meeting last month.

Norvall had his leg crushed against the back of the barriers when his mount, Livingston, suddenly backed out of his stall when being loaded for the NZB Pearl Series 1600. He suffered a compound fracture of his tibia, a spiral fracture of his fibia, and a break behind the left knee.

He underwent surgery to have a rod inserted into the injured leg and during his recovery he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from the racing community.

Local horseman Harley Jonkers and long-time Cambridge Jockey Club employee Peggy Erikson started the ball rolling when organising a raffle at the Cambridge trials last week and the support has snowballed from there.

“The support I’ve had had been unbelievable,” said Norvall. “I’ve got no words to describe how people have come together to support me. The jockeys have rallied together and the whole racing community.

“I don’t like relying on people so it’s so humbling for me to get this support. I’ve even had people drop meals around and do jobs at home for me. I didn’t expect anything like this.”

Erikson says it didn’t take much to get the ball rolling once she was approached by Jonkers a few weeks ago.

“Within no time we had Farmlands donating a wheelbarrow and some goods for the raffle and the response has been huge. Instead of one draw we’ve ended up with four draws. All we had to do was mention Rogan’s name and everyone was very fast in coming forward.

“I’m proud to be part of it all. Sharing is caring and caring is sharing. Rogan is so popular and it’s great to be able to help him.”

Tickets in the raffles sold like wildfire at last Tuesday’s Cambridge trials and demand is still strong with tickets ($5 each or book of 10 for $50) being available from the Cambridge Jockey Club and the Group One Bar/TAB.

Sunday’s function will be hosted by George Simon and will include an auction for which donations have been received from numerous outlets and people. The auction includes Cambridge JC track fees, Electric 2100 PSI Water Blaster, NZ Bloodstock $20,000 Insurance.

There will also be quick fire raffles and the combined racing community raffle will be drawn at 2.30pm.

“All proceeds will go to Rogan and it’ll help him out while he’s recovering,” said Erikson.

Norvall wasn’t able to be on hand for the raffle day at the Cambridge trials but made down to his local club a couple of days later and hopes to be on hand for this weekend’s function.

“I had a back slab on originally, but now I’m in a cast from the knee down,” said Norvall. “I’ve got to go back for x-rays on June 2.

“I know it will be a long haul, but I’ll be back riding. “