John Poots … “So good to be back home!”

Published 3 November 2023

John Poots … “So good to be back home!”

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You can’t keep a good man down and John Poots is a good man!

Almost four months after suffering serious brain injuries and undergoing multiple surgeries, Rockhampton horse trainer John Poots finally returned home last Tuesday.

John was involved in an unwitnessed accident when riding a horse at his Port Curtis property on July 12 and later that day flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

With his wife Louise by his side, he remained in the Neurological Ward until September 1, when after recovering sufficiently, to be transferred to an adjoining rehabilitation unit undergoing intense therapy.

This involved assistance with such basic functions as talking, eating, drinking and taking little steps leading up to walking (with the assistance of aids).

On October 5, John was discharged from the Brisbane Unit and transferred to a similar rehabilitation facility at Rockhampton’s Base Hospital.

Now able to move around independently with the aid of a walking stick, John 64, a staunchly resilient man has finally returned home to reunite with his beloved thoroughbreds.

“It is so good to be back home and be able to get around a bit. I use the walking stick, but I can walk around unaided,” he said akin to a boast.

However, John is constantly under the watch of wife Louise who he says with loving pride has been “my rock.’ 

“I have to keep a close eye on John as he wants to get down the back to the horses all the time. I am keeping him away as much as possible,” Louise, a horse lover and trainer in her own right said. 

A very much determined John Poots, an all-round horseman, farrier and equine manipulator, made it clear in our brief chat that he intends to get back training racehorses.

However, he made one stipulation – “I won’t be riding them anymore”.

John will continue therapy at the Rockhampton rehabilitation unit with twice weekly visits in the foreseeable future. 

‘’I’ve improved a lot”, he said.

An appeal launched in August by the Australian Trainers Association and supported by QRISP (Queensland Racing Industry Support Program) raised almost $25K to assist the couple with expenses.

John became emotional when I gently raised the issue with him, but his feelings shone through in just a few words.

“Thanks everyone, thanks,” he said before being overcome.

Louise Poots said the funds raised had been unexpected but so meaningful.

“They have helped us keep going. Now they are assisting in getting walking rails and other little things installed in the house to aid John in getting around safely. John and I are really humbled by the support of people and their kindness and generosity in contributing to the appeal. The racing industry really shines when their own are in need of help. It makes us proud to be part of it. The ATA, through Cameron Partington and so many other individuals, friends in Rockhampton and complete strangers helped John and I get through this ordeal. Believe you me, he and I are so thankful to them all”, Louise Poots said.

There can be no doubting that John Poots has a long road ahead, but the good news is he is moving slowly but surely along the recovery track.  

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