THE JOCKEY WHO NEVER SAYS NO
When jockey Jeff Burningham was unseated when his mount Proud Cause clipped heels with another horse in a bizarre racing accident Sunday at Hastings Racecourse, the reaction of many who know him was: “Oh no, not again.”
The veteran rider has had a history of suffering injuries at the track and Sunday was another reminder that mishaps happen not only in horse racing but other sports as well.
“One time following a racing accident a physiotherapist told me I would not only ever ride again but never walk again,” Burningham says. “I refused to believe it.
“Later, after winning my first race following my recovery, I stopped by his office and gave him a picture of me in the winner’s circle. To this day I will not accept the limitations put on me. I’m sharing my thoughts with hopes others in the same situation will never give up hope.”
Burningham was speaking from his bed at Vancouver General Hospital earlier this week after learning his injuries included a broken L3 vertebra, broken shoulder blade, broken ribs and bruised lung.
“I realize because of all the injuries I’ve sustained during my career that people either think I’ve been the victim of bad luck or I’m accident prone,” he continued. “Those are words an athlete doesn’t want to hear. My thought is that with lots of hard work, my name will be back in the racing program sooner than people think.”
It’s been suggested by doctors it could be a year to a year-and-a-half before he’s ready to ride again.
Burningham is determined to prove them wrong.
A GoFundMe page is being set up by his many friends and co-workers. Further details will be announced soon.
NEXT GENERATION: Growing up on their parents’ farm in Pitt Meadows, twins Laura and Lisa Anderson shared a goal that one day they would own and train a racehorse. Now 24, their seeing that dream come true. Last Sunday Laura saddled and won her first race with Ware’s My Jennie owned by her dad John.
“We got the racing bug when our father bought us a big black thoroughbred named Happy n Bold,” says Lisa. “That’s when we fell in love with thoroughbreds and began doing horse shows. We were just starting high school.”
They purchased Ware’s My Jennie from the estate of Dave Dahl. “We now have eight horses in our barn,” said Lisa. “If you count the show horses, race horses, pets, senior horses and rescue horses, I guess you could say we are owners of 17 in total. We also made a former race horse named Simplicity a show horse who went on to win many show events.”
Lisa points to a “great support team” and says: “Somehow all the family has found a way to pull together and make it all work.”
HATS OFF: Grooms of the week: Geovani Olalde won Saturday’s nod with Wahoo Bill; Sunday’s winner was Ian Jewel with He’s The Reason.
NOTES ON A PROGRAM: Don’t forget that racing under the lights resumes tonight at 7. It’s the first of eight consecutive Friday Night Live cards. The 11th annual Deighton Cup goes Saturday at Hastings with post time 1:50 p.m. There will not be Sunday racing … the Richard Yates Memorial is set for a week tonight – Friday, Aug. 2 – at 5 p.m. in the Marquee Tent at Hastings with dinner to follow.