Much thanks to Tom Metzen Jr. for sharing a story that I hasn't received much attention in the wake of the Anne Von Rosen accident at Turf Paradise on March 11.
The part of the story we all knew was that Ponchita Bonita went down on top of jockey Anne Von Rosen on the backstretch after a Quarter Horse race at Turf Paradise. The resulting injuries have paralyzed the popular rider from the waist down and have subjected her to two surgeries thus far. By all reports her attitude is excellent and her determination to eventually walk again is strong.
Here is what was much less publicized:
Jockey Rodolpho Arvizu, who had ridden My Corona Blue in the 1st race was pulling the horse up behind Von Rosen when he saw her go down. He leapt from his mount and rushed over to Von Rosen whose foot was still caught in the stirrup. If Bonita got back to his feet and took off with Von Rosen in the stirrup, she would have been killed. Arvizu was able to release Von Rosen before the horse regained his footing and then sat on it's head, keeping it from rolling back on the injured jockey. Arvizu's quick actions prevented the tragedy for escalating and probably saved Von Rosen's life.
In recognition of his efforts, Arvizu was presented last night with the "The Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association Humanitarian Award" at the Horsemen's Spring Fling at Turf Paradise.
According to Metzen this is only the second time that the award has been presented. I can't think of a more deserving recipient.
Those wishing to donate directly can send a check made out to Turf Paradise Foundation and mark the memo line Anne von Rosen. All donations are tax deductible.
1501 West Bell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85023
Folks at Turf Paradise have also scheduled a "Walk for Annie" fundraiser on Fan Appreciation Day on April 12. Fans will be able to purchase either a bracelet or T-shirt, and then walk with the local jockey colony on the Turf course. All proceeds will benefit von Rosen.
In Minnesota the address for donations is:
500 Marschall Rd
Shakopee, MN 55379
With checks made out to the "Benefit of Anne Von Rosen".
There will also be a fundraising effort at Canterbury Park after live racing resumes this spring - details to come.