01/15/2008 12:00AM

Jockey Brian Long dies in Texas


Jockey Brian Long was found dead Saturday at his apartment in El Paso, Texas, his agent, Mike James, confirmed on Tuesday. He was 45. Long had been based at Sunland Park, which is just across the border from El Paso in Sunland Park, N.M.

"I found him Saturday after he didn't show up to ride," said James. "I went by the apartment. I found him dead on his bed, about 2:30 or 3 that afternoon."

Long's mother and sister have flown to New Mexico, James said, and intend to bring Long's remains to Northern California. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

James said Long had been scheduled to have a procedure done on three bulging discs in his neck on Monday. It was an old injury, he said, and the rider had had the procedure done before.

"He was a very personable guy, a very giving guy," James said. "When somebody would ask for jock mount donations, everybody would put in one and he'd put in two."

Long rode 1,114 winners from 8,054 starters for career mount earnings of $7,839,956. He was the leading rider at Les Bois Park in 2007. Long also rode at such tracks as Fairplex, Mountaineer, Zia Park, and Elko in Nevada.