09/04/2011 12:23PM

Paralyzed jockey Jacky Martin in critical condition

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Ruidoso Downs
Jacky Martin, 56, shown winning a trial of the Merial Ruidoso Distaff aboard Urbanite on Aug. 12, has been placed on a respirator and is listed in critical condition with neck injuries.

Jockey Jacky Martin was placed on a respirator Sunday morning at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, two days after sustaining neck fractures in a spill at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. His wife, Tracey Martin, said he has been diagnosed as a paralyzed from the neck down and at this point there are no surgeries scheduled.

She is in the process of sending copies of his medical records to a handful of doctors around the country in an attempt to “look for other answers.” Her search for further medical opinions has been assisted by R.D. Hubbard, the owner of Ruidoso who is helping to put Tracey Martin in contact with specialists in California.

“Everyone is trying to help,” she said between tearful breakdowns Sunday.

Jacky Martin, 56, was injured in the sixth race Friday, when his mount in the $6,500 maiden claiming sprint for Quarter Horses, Phire Power, fell after the wire and threw the jockey.

“He’s never moved since he hit the racetrack,” Tracey Martin said Sunday.

Tracey Martin said in addition to three neck fractures, she has been told her husband has multiple contusions around his spinal cord. There has been some hope the paralysis will be temporary when the swelling in his back subsides. But, Tracey Martin said doctors have been trying to prepare her for life with a paralyzed spouse.

“We need everybody’s prayers, and we’re going to need everybody’s help somewhere down the road,” she said Sunday.

Jacky Martin on Friday night was airlifted from Lincoln County Medical Center in New Mexico to the El Paso hospital, and as of Sunday he was listed in critical condition, said Tracey Martin.

Jacky Martin will go down in history as one of the greatest Quarter Horse jockeys of all-time. He has won seven runnings of the prestigious All American Futurity, and on Monday had been named to ride the $2.4 million race’s favorite, Ochoa. Martin has compiled a record of nearly 3,000 wins and $46 million in mount earnings since he began riding in 1972. Martin is a member of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.