Jockey Nikeela Black is out of intensive care and has started physical therapy after she was seriously injured in a race at the Eastern Idaho State Fair on Sunday.
Black's husband, Lee Abrams, said her mount likely clipped heels with another horse, and after her horse went down, Black was run over by a horse or horses behind her. Initial reports are that Black is paralyzed from the ribs down. She also suffered secondary injuries ranging from facial lacerations to a collapsed lung. Shortly after the accident, Black was airlifted to a Utah hospital for surgery.
Family, friends and fans have rallied around Black with a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new living space that “will eliminate some of the impediments that will be confronting her on a daily basis.” As of Friday afternoon, it was closing in on its initial $25,000 goal.
Earlier in the day, Black posted an update on the GoFundMe page, saying the surgery went well.
“In an attempt to keep you all as up to date as possible, I want to let you know how much I appreciate all of your comments and words of encouragement during this latest journey,” Black wrote. “Yesterday was a big day as I was released from the Intensive Care Unit and transferred to the neuro acute care floor. I was able to begin physical therapy and the surgeons are pleased with the success of Sunday's surgery to date. I'm receiving the best care possible and have no doubt that I will have as successful a recovery as can be hope for. Once again, please know how much your comments and support mean to me at this time.”
“Her goal is to walk and ride again and nothing stops Nikeela (who is also an attorney),” Abrams told KTVB. She will persevere through anything, that's just her mentality and it has been forever.”
In the summer of 2014, Black had the highest winning percentage of any jockey in the country with at least 100 starts.
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