Boy, this sport is rough not only on horses, but also riders. High-profile losses like those of Indyanne and Go Between represent only the most widely-published fatalities and breakdowns for horses, but the recent death of quarter-horse jockey Sam Thompson at Los Alamitos reminds us how dangerous racing is for the human partner too.
Prayers go out to Aussie jockey Jason Holder who this past weekend was on top the world after winning the Magic Millions Classic with longshot 2-year-old Phelan Ready. On Wednesday, Jason sustained serious head injuries when his mount Oscar The Great fell in a race at Eagle Farm, and his head was struck by another horse Spirito Volante, resulting in a fractured skull and cheekbone, as well as a bad cut in his mouth. He is in an induced coma in Royal Brisbane Hospital, but reports indicate he is showing some improvement.
This comes after jockey Mark Zahra fractured his pelvis at Flemington during morning workouts, and will be out at least three months, and Paul King has three fractures in his neck, as well as a fractured shoulder and left foot. Add to that Martin Pedroza’s cracked pelvis suffered in the post parade for the ninth race at Santa Anita last Sunday and...well, I can’t express enough how much I admire the guts it takes to keep hopping back aboard these powerful creatures.