Jockey Thompson plans quick return after breaking leg
Jockey Terry Thompson suffered a broken leg when his mount reared up in the starting gate prior to Thursday’s eighth race at Prairie Meadows.
Thompson, who set a record with 97 victories at Prairie Meadows’ 2011 thoroughbred meet, was off to another hot start this year. He had 36 wins in the first 18 days of the season, one behind meet leader Alex Birzer. Thompson was injured when his leg was pinned between the horse and the gate after Diesel’s Prize reared in the gate.
“The horse flipped in gate, I don’t really know what set him off,” Thompson said. “My right leg got hung up on the tail gate of the starting gate with all the horse’s weight on it. I knew right away (it was broken).”
The leg was broken clean through halfway below his knee, but no surgery will be needed. He is hoping to return within a few weeks. Thompson had a cast put on Friday and that is scheduled to be changed to a walking cast in a week.
“It was good news,” Thompson said. “There was no tendon damage in my ankle or knee. I could have easily messed up my knee, because I was hung up over the gate by my ankle.”
Thompson said Diesel’s Prize had not acted up before that.
“No, and actually for a 3-year-old colt, he was a highlight for me,” Thompson said. “I thought he was going to win everything. I don’t think going long, they were better than him. I was excited to ride him.”
Thompson has been Prairie Meadows’ leading thoroughbred rider eight times since 2000. This is his third significant injury at the Altoona track.
On June 29, 2004, he broke his leg above the kneecap when his mount tripped over a fallen horse and did not ride the rest of the year. On May 1, 2005, he sustained a fractured pelvis when a horse reared up in the gate and flipped onto him.
“It’s how it goes,” Thompson said. “I’ve had two bad injuries here, but it’s been awhile. I’ve been on a pretty good streak.”