04/24/2006 11:00PM

Evangeline rider has neck surgery


Jockey Guy Smith, who suffered shoulder and neck injuries in a spill Saturday night at Evangeline Downs, had surgery Tuesday to fuse his C-7 vertebra.

Smith was injured in the eighth race when his mount, Pronounced, fell and threw the rider to the ground. Fellow rider Sylvester Carmouche Jr., aboard Net Wire, was unable to steer clear and also fell. Carmouche suffered a clean break of his leg and has been released from the hospital pending surgery to insert a rod into the leg.

David Yount, director of racing operations at Evangeline, said Smith "was conscious when we loaded him into the ambulance, able to move everything. The doctors were just amazed that there was no paralysis."

Yount said Saturday had been scheduled to be Smith's last night to ride before he had surgery to correct a previously injured wrist.