NewsCovering Kern County


Hall of Fame jockey recovering after fall at Del Mar racetrack

Hall of Fame jockey recovering after fall
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 21:24:42-04

One week after a training accident that ended in the death of racehorse Bobby Abu Dhabi, Victor Espinoza is opening up about his recovery. Espinoza, a Hall of Fame jockey, suffered a fractured vertebra when he was thrown from the horse after it went into apparent cardiac arrest in Del Mar. The four-year-old horse died.

"I was just working my normal routine and then just...something just happens," Espinoza said. "So it was a bit of a different accident than what (I've had) over the years." 

The 46-year-old jockey remembers thinking that he might be paralyzed after the July 22 fall. He said his body was numb, and he could only move his right arm.

"The first time I ever cry, (was) when I first started moving my right leg, when I got on the ambulance and then by the time I got to the hospital, I started moving my left leg." 

Scans showed that Espinoza fractured his C3 vertebrae in the accident and had damage to his cerebral artery. Doctors told him that he got lucky.