A Canterbury favorite went down after the 1st race at Turf Paradise yesterday. Jockey Anne Von Rosen, affectionately nicknamed "The Baroness" because of her German roots, had her Quarter Horse mount tumble on top of her after the conclusion of the 400 yard allowance race.
Panchita Bonita had just finished 2nd in the race when something went wrong beyond the wire and on the backstretch. I couldn't see what it was on the replay and but according to the Daily Racing Form's Michael Hammersly, "Von Rosen, 43, was pulling up Panchita Bonita after a 400-yard Quarter Horse event, and on the backstretch, the horse took a bad step and went down, flipping over and ending up on top of Von Rosen."
We also know from a message on her FB wall that she had to undergo extensive surgery on her crushed T-5.
Twitter was very active with her fellow jockey Patrick Canchari breaking the news to the public:
Anne von Rosen suffered a severed spinal cord in the first race today. Sayin a prayer for her and her health
This was followed up by messages of prayer and support both on Twitter and on her Facebook page. If, as has been speculated, Von Rosen is paralyzed from the waist down, it is going to be a long, hard road to recovery and shines the spotlight on what hides beneath the surface every racing day: a jockey risks their life each and every time they get on the back of a racehorse and, as independent contractors, suffer more than most when they are unable to work.
The Permanently Disabled Jockey's Fund was established in 2006 as "a collaborative effort of many leaders in the horse racing industry, including race tracks, jockeys, horsemen, and many others who had a vision of a program that would bring much-needed financial assistance to a group of athletes who have given so much to the sport of horse racing."
I would encourage you all click the link and learn more about the fund and all that it has done to assist disabled jockeys and keep this in mind the next time your local truck holds a fundraiser for injured and disabled jockeys.
In the meantime, Anne will need all our thoughts and prayers as she faces the toughest battle of her life.