SERIOUS injuries to a young speedway rider led to the Wightlink Summer Showdown speedway spectacular at Ryde's Smallbrook Stadium being cut short.

Stephen Whitehouse, from Wolverhampton — who took part in the Kev's Wizards v Sid's Wizards challenge, a Southern Development League-style meeting held over six heats on Thursday evening — was taken by ambulance to St Mary's Hospital, Newport, suffering with a suspected broken leg and internal injuries after he slid off the track and crashed into the barrier.

With the meeting's paramedic required to stay with the stricken rider on the way to hospital, the referee was forced to abandon the meeting in the absence of trackside medical cover.

Warriors spokesman Rob Dyer said: "Stephen was in a bad way. Because our paramedic had to be with him to administer morphine in the on-track ambulance on route to hospital, we had no choice but to end proceedings prematurely." 

Stephen, in his early 20s, who captained the Reading Racers this year, remains in hospital and is comfortable, recovering from his injuries, with his leg not broken, the club spokesman added.

The first two-thirds of the evening had been a success, until the accident.

In the 13-team retro-style event — Martin's Warriors v Barry's Warriors — in which the first five riders took four rides and the two reserve riders, three, the scores were level at 30-30 after ten heats when the meeting was halted.

The Summer Showdown's co-promoter, Barry Bishop, said: “What a way to have to end the meeting — and our season.

"All our thoughts are with Stephen right now.

"Until that fall, things were going like clockwork, with lots of fun had by eveyone.

"The Wizards gained competitive track time and it was a really close main match, which was building to an exciting finale.

"Obviously, however, we weren't allowed to run the event any longer without the proper level of medical cover.

"I would like to apologise to spectators for having to cut short the Summer Showdown.

"But on a brighter note, it has been a season of progress on and off the track. We are very pleased with what has been achieved.

"We will take a few days to look back on 2018 and formulate some plans for next year as we await details of speedway’s new structure for 2019.

"The My First Skid initiative will, weather permitting, continue throughout the winter. Its value was seen on track at the event."


Martin’s Warriors: Alfie Bowtell 8, Ryan Terry-Daley 5, Scott Campos 4, Tom Woolley 4+1, Ben Morley 6, Lewis Whitmore 0, Jamie Sealey 3, Chris Watts 0.

Barry’s Warriors: Danny Ayres 5, Danno Verge 5+2, Leon Flint 6, Chris Widman 1, Connor Coles 8, Shaun Tedham 2, Nick Laurence 3+2.

Wizard's Challenge: Chris Watts 12, Morgan Williams 8, Stephen Whitehouse 5, Steph Whitlock 3, James Luckman 2.