Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jockeys Collecting Social Security? You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

OK, it's official.  I'm done being a wuss. I am NOT going to let fear rule me anymore.  I'm too embarrassed to be afraid anymore.

The other day I read an article about a 69 (yes, that's the number, 6-9) year old jockey who was still climbing back on racehorses after coming back from an injury.  Apparently last May a horse fell backwards on jockey Roy Brooks while loading into the starting gate, breaking the jockey's pelvis.  Two days later, while in a hospital bed, he was predicting he'd be back on a horse.  Bet most folks thought the only kind of horse old Roy was hopping back on would be the kind that comes attached to a pole and is found at amusement parks.

Brooks began racing in 1967, so you'd think he'd have been ready to retire more than 40 years later.  (Oddly enough, he's not even the oldest active quarter horse jockey. Apparently that honor belongs to 70 year old Richard Rettele of Northville, Michigan.)  According to the article I read, a couple of surgeries were barely a bump in the road for Roy, and he was back and racing (and winning!) by mid-November!  After those November races, he took a bit of a break, and is now back at it as the latest race meet opens at Remington Park.

Roy says he's now willing to make "some" concessions to his age. He's giving up riding 2 year olds, calling them "too flighty" and he's cut down on the number of rides he'll accept on any one card. 

Glad to see old Roy's finally showing some maturity! ;) In the meantime, I think I'm going to go search for my Big Girl Panties before my next jumping lesson.

1 comment:

  1. It's stories like this that make me feel like a wuss when I'm too tired or sore to ride.

    Thanks for sharing, and for the inspiration!