05/02/2013 4:31PM

Churchill Downs: Bramlage hurt in backstretch accident

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Dr. Larry Bramlage, the equine surgeon, was taken to a Louisville, Ky., hospital on Thursday afternoon after falling off the back of a golf cart in the Churchill Downs stable area and suffering a head injury, according to a witness to the accident.

Mike Maker, a trainer, said that Bramlage was thrown from the golf cart after the vehicle performed a U-turn. Maker said he was approximately 20 yards from the accident when it occurred.

Dr. Mary Scollay, the equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said that she was told that Bramlage lost consciousness for "a brief period" but then rapidly regained consciousness and recovered. She said she was told that Bramlage was taken to the hospital as a "precaution." Scollay was in the track's test barn at the time of the accident but was in communication with medical personnel, she said.

A Churchill Downs spokesman, Darren Rogers, said that Bramlage was "briefly unconscious" following the incident, but that he was awake and alert soon thereafter. He said Bramlage was admitted to the hospital for the purposes of "observation."

Bramlage is the on-air spokesperson for the American Association of Equine Practitioners' On Call program, which provides medical commentary during television broadcasts of major races.  Consequently, he is the public face of the veterinary community for a large swath of casual race fans who tune in to broadcasts of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races.

Bramlage is a renowned equine orthopedic surgeon who is a partner in the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital outside Lexington, Ky. He is a past president of the AAEP.

- additional reporting by Byron King