Jockeys Arienne Cox, Kris Fox Recovering From Serious Injuries Sustained In Presque Isle Downs Accident

Jockeys Arienne Cox and Kris Fox are recovering from serious injuries sustained in a Sept. 8 racing accident at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

Both riders were taken to UPMC Hamot Hospital in Erie following the eighth race incident in which witnesses said Fox’s mount, Boardwalk Bob, clipped heels and fell midway around the first turn of the one-mile, 70-yard claiming race on the Tapeta main track surface. As Boardwalk Bob scrambled to his feet, Cox’s mount, Growl, who was trailing the field, collided with Boardwalk Bob. Video of the race is not available

Other riders were alerted to pull their horses up before the finish and the race was declared “no contest.”

Cox sustained multiple fractures at the base of her skull, fractured three vertebrae in her neck, and has been on a ventilator in the intensive care unit since being hospitalized.

Fox fractured a collarbone and ribs, suffered a collapsed lung and sustained transverse process fractures in his back.

Fox’s wife, Michelle, said on Tuesday via text message: “Kris is in very good spirits despite discomfort and pain” and was expected to be discharged from the hospital Tuesday evening. “Kris says, ‘Live to ride, ride to live. Cowboy up,’” she added.

Cox has a longer road to recovery, according to owner-trainer Wayne Rice, who described Cox as “my life partner and my best friend, and I can tell you, this is the first time in 25 years I’ve gone seven days and I haven’t had a chance to talk to her.”

Rice gave Cox a leg up on Growl, a horse he owns and trains, before the Sept. 8 race. Rice said Growl and Boardwalk Bob walked off and suffered no apparent injuries.

“We’ve had a successful day or two,” Rice said Tuesday afternoon. “The fractured vertebrae in her neck have been fused, and it did not bother the spinal cord.

“They haven’t been able to re-Xray her because she is still on a ventilator,” he said. “But she’s working toward breathing on her own, and maybe will be off the ventilator tomorrow, which would be fabulous.

“We had what appeared to be a paralyzed right arm and leg the first five days,” Rice said. “As the medication has been lightened up, we can tell she has cognitive function in the brain. We also found she has complete sensation to touch all over her body, including both the right arm and right leg.  And there’s now movement in the two limbs. She can blink her eyes when I rub those areas and ask if she can feel it. So we’ve had pretty good signs the last couple of days.”

In the meantime, Rice said, he’s had a “fire sale” of the horses in his barn at Presque Isle Downs as he looks forward to taking Cox back to their home in Florida to recuperate.

“I’ve sold 10 head already and have some 2-year-olds on the market that I really like that haven’t started yet,” Rice said.

He added the outpouring of support from friends around the country has been gratifying.

“We live a good life, and I just want her back to where she can walk around,” Rice said. “I can fix her, I know. Salt water and sunshine is what puts a smile on her face.”

Fox began riding in 2008 and has 194 career wins from 2,735 mounts. Cox, a veteran exercise rider in Ocala who acquired her jockeys’ license in Florida in 2006 after a brief stint as a trainer, has 176 wins from 2,216 mounts.

Jockey Kris Fox at Jack Thistledown in Ohio during a jockey autograph session

The post Jockeys Arienne Cox, Kris Fox Recovering From Serious Injuries Sustained In Presque Isle Downs Accident appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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