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Horses meet head on.

2 horses meet head on killing both horses.

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by Stephen

submitted July 11th 2006

8 comments
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comments (8)
I'm glad it played twice for me to laugh at it again and again
11 years ago
Nice to see the jocky suspended in mid air liek a bugsbunny cartoon
11 years ago
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 18, 2005

Stacy Burton is fidgeting, which itself is amazing.

Burton is listening and watching Faith Hill sing her favorite song, Mississippi Girl, on a country music television station, and simultaneously also trying to answer questions from a visitor at her Queen Creek home.

But what Burton would prefer to be doing, and what she does three days a week for 20 to 35 minutes a session, is exercise on her treadmill. advertisement

"You're . . . interrupting . . . my . . . schedule," she says haltingly, but with a forgiving smile. "I . . . just . . . love . . . it (exercising). I'm . . . addicted. I'm . . . a . . . sick . . . woman."

But she's alive. Oh, is she ever.

Five years ago, Burton nearly was killed, the victim of a horrific horse-racing accident at now-closed Prescott Downs.

A horse she was riding on a muddy track in the fifth race on Aug. 26, 2000, collided head-on with another horse that earlier had slipped and fallen, unseating its rider. The impact was devastating. Both horses dropped instantly as if felled by bullets, and lying motionless near the dead animals was Burton, her 106-pound body caked with mud and showing few signs of life.

A doctor sitting in the grandstands initially saved Burton, who suffered a severe brain injury, three fractured vertebra and two fractured ribs. The physician jumped the railing, rushed to her side and immediately established an airway.

A few hours later, Burton, now 42, was rushed by helicopter to the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Surgeons informed her family and longtime companion Jan Hortyk, who now is Burton's legal guardian and conservator, that hope for survival were slim.

Burton was in a coma for 23 days, awakening the same day talks began about removing her from respirators that were keeping her alive.

Nearly five years later, Burton can walk, talk, exercise and even ride slowly on a horse without assistance.

But make no mistake, Burton is permanently disabled and needs full-time assistance. A pump the size of a hockey puck is imbedded beneath her skin and near her stomach, and is connected to a catheter that delivers medicine to her spinal cord to prevent muscle tightening.

But she's alive when so many thought she would not see the next day in the moment after her fall.

"Stacy's life is good," said Hortyk, a former teacher and girls basketball coach at Casa Grande. "We're both doing well. We go to movies. We go out to dinner. We socialize. I even took her to Casino Arizona, and she won $75 playing blackjack."

Dr. Christina Kwasnica, who specializes in the rehabilitation of patients with head injuries, said, "Her improvement overall is above the norm knowing how bad her injury was. It's very rare.

"When I first saw her, our goal was for her to be able to sit in a wheelchair and communicate with her family some. She's surpassed every single one of our goals. She's come miles."

Kwasnica made those comments two years ago.

Burton has made even more progress since then. She no longer uses a wheelchair inside her home, and uses a treadmill and a stationary bike without supervision.

"She works harder than anybody I know," Hortyk said. "Her speech still is slow, but you can carry on conversations with her. And she still has some double vision. But her intelligence level still is so high it amazes me. I mean, she wins at blackjack. Come on."

Burton became a jockey in 1999, leaving a teaching and coaching profession at several East Valley high schools (Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, McClintock and Tempe). Although she had been riding only for a short time before the accident, she had built a trusting clientele with several trainers and owners.

"She told me once she wanted to be a jockey ever since she was 6 years old," Hortyk said. "It was her lifelong dream."

About 20 surgeries later, including one last October to put a shunt in her skull to relieve pressure on her brain, Burton's dream remains to live life to its fullest.

"I don't remember being a jockey," Burton says slowly. "I don't remember my accident. But my life is pretty good. If I didn't have my injury, it probably would be better.

"I owe her (Hortyk) my life. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her. I'm happy."
11 years ago
Well that puts pay to the argument that gridiron has the best impacts, horse racing wins by a furlong.
11 years ago
".... POP! goes the jockey!"

And I'll wager she was the only woman jockey that day. See, women can't drive shit.
11 years ago
wow what an impact!, thanks for the info too Mothh
11 years ago
image the horse colliding into you! like a heavy car crash.
11 years ago
Now that was sweet.
11 years ago
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