Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza was injured on Sunday morning, July 22, 2018, when the horse he was riding at California’s Del Mar racetrack collapsed during training and died.
The four-year-old colt, Bobby Abu Dhabi, suffered an apparent fatal heart attack and dropped to the ground during a workout, throwing Espinoza off. The jockey lay motionless for several minutes, and his head and neck were then stabilized and he was transported by ambulance to hospital. The deceased horse was pulled into a van and taken away.
Doctors determined that Espinoza suffered a fracture of the C3 vertebra in his neck, and numbness in his left shoulder and arm. He suffered no paralysis or other broken bones, and doctors expect a full recovery.
Above: Espinoza abord Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah. Photo: Wikimedia/Maryland GovPics
Above: Espinoza on California Chrome after winning the 2016 Winter Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos. Photo: Wikimedia/Images by Montanabw
Bobby Adu Dhabi was in training for the six-furlong Bing Crosby Stakes to run on July 28, 2018.
A native of Mexico, Espinoza was born on a dairy farm in Hidalgo, the 11th of 12 children. He left home at age 15 and by age 17 he was driving a bus in Mexico City to pay for jockey school. He was 18 years old when he moved to the United States, and through hard work and talent his career took off. The 46-year-old has won the Kentucky Derby three times and the Preakness Stakes three times (on War Emblem in 2002, California Chrome in 2014, and American Pharoah in 2015). And with American Pharoah he went on to win the Belmont Stakes to capture the 2015 Triple Crown winner. He is the oldest jockey and the first Hispanic jockey to win the award.
We wish Victor Espinoza a speedy recovery.
- With files from MSN.com and SandiegoUnionTribune.com.
Main Photo: Victor Espinoza at Los Alamitos racetrack December 17, 2016. He is wearing the racing colors of Kaleem Shah’s racing stable. Photo: Wikimedia/Images by Montanabw