09/06/2011 10:54AM

Paralyzed Quarter Horse rider Jacky Martin remains in critical condition


Jockey Jacky Martin remained in critical condition Monday morning at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, three days after sustaining neck fractures in a spill at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.
His wife, Tracey Martin, said doctors told her he is paralyzed from the neck down and requires a respirator, which doctors placed him on Sunday. She said Martin will in time be moved to a rehabilitation facility, with the initial possibilities being health care centers in either Colorado or Houston, Texas.
“We’re trying to decide where to go to afford him the best opportunity,” she said Monday. “I’ve been trying to get referrals from the patient side of the fence, and those two facilities keep coming up.”
Tracey Martin said she has learned from the family of injured jockey Tad Leggett that the Colorado center has a program that specializes in weaning patients off respirators.
“That’s a really, really huge step,” she said.
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. 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 is temporary and will lift when swelling in his back subsides. But Tracey Martin said doctors have been preparing her for life with a paralyzed spouse. She has since been sending copies of her husband’s medical records to a handful of doctors around the country in an attempt to “look for other answers.” She also is seeking any opinions, suggestions and referrals via her personal email, at Katiii2@yahoo.com.
“We need everybody’s prayers, and we’re going to need everybody’s help somewhere down the road,” she said.
Ruidoso in a few days plans to announce a fund that will be established for Jacky Martin.
Jacky Martin has been one of Quarter Horse racing’s most prolific jockeys. He has won seven runnings of the 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.