Former Rider Straight To Model Bionic Exoskeleton At Gulfstream

by | 12.29.2015 | 2:40pm
Michael Straight

Disabled jockey Michael Straight will raise awareness in the advancements of treating paralysis by walking into the winner's circle at Gulfstream Park Sunday, Jan. 3 with the help of a bionic exoskeleton.

Straight, paralyzed from the chest down in a 2009 spill, will walk with the help of the bionic exoskeleton manufactured by Ekso Bionics Inc., which provides upright ambulation for persons with chronic, disabling disorders such as spinal cord injuries. Straight's bionic exoskeleton costs approximately $87,000 with physical therapy.

Straight will be welcomed into the winner's circle by Hall of Fame riders Angel Cordero Jr., Alex Solis, Jose Santos, Walter Blum and Edgar Prado. The riders will sign autographs, and t-shirts will be available for purchase.

Once Straight is welcomed into the winner's circle, the riders will greet Michael Martinez, who suffered a severed spine in a spill in 2010. Straight and the other riders will then announce efforts to raise money to provide Martinez a bionic exoskeleton. Martinez is the cousin of Alex Solis.

  • pam

    god bless him

  • Kellye Pikul

    Is Michael’s bionic exoskeleton his to keep? Bless his heart, I cannot imagine how a young man with the energy and drive to be a jockey deals with this situation.

  • Should be very interesting and exciting to see.

  • C Hogan

    I remember Mike and his brother when they were riding at Keeneland.
    All the best to Mike.

  • Mimi Hunter

    This is going to be an amazing event, and a real step forward for rehab for the catastrophic injuries our jockeys can get. Ray, I hope you follow this because it could really be something positive until a permanent cure is found.

  • Bellwether

    One of the most dangerous jobs on the planet…Kudos to the folks at Gulfstream Park for bringing the awareness for all to see front and center…Much the best for Mike and all that have come before and after him…Happy New Year!!!…

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