01/01/2002 12:00AM

Quarter Horse rider Stimpson dead at 29


Dusty Stimpson, a successful Quarter Horse jockey based at Los Alamitos, was killed in a one-car accident early Tuesday morning. He was 29.

Stimpson and his girlfriend, Jody Behunin, were returning from a trip to Bakersfield when the accident occurred at the intersection of Interstate 5 and the 60 freeway in east Los Angeles, according to Orlando Gutierrez, a publicist at Los Alamitos. Police theorize that Behunin, who was driving, fell asleep at the wheel in the early morning hours, according to Gutierrez. She was in serious condition, at County USC Medical Center, on Tuesday afternoon.

Stimpson finished second in purse earnings with $1,790,078, and was seventh in victories with 78, last year at Los Alamitos. His biggest victory in 2001 came in the Los Alamitos Million with Your First Moon. It was Stimpson's second straight victory in that race. He won 424 races lifetime at Los Alamitos, including 44 stakes races.

In 1999, Stimpson won the All-American Derby at Ruidoso Downs with Old Habits.

Stimpson is a native of Utah. As of Tuesday afternoon, funeral services were pending.