09/03/2011 6:26PM

Ruidoso Downs: Quarter Horse rider Jacky Martin paralyzed below his neck

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Evangeline Downs photo
Jacky Martin, 56, shown after winning the Louisiana Quarter Horse Futurity at Evangeline Downs in 2004.

Jacky Martin, who is one of the most accomplished jockeys in Quarter Horse racing as a seven-time winner of the All American Futurity, has been diagnosed as paralyzed below the neck following examinations Saturday at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. The rider, 56, had sustained three neck fractures in a spill Friday at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

Martin was airlifted from a local hospital to University Medical Center. His wife, Tracey Martin, confirmed the paralysis to Ruidoso officials. According to a release from the track, there are some reports the paralysis could be temporary because of swelling around Martin’s spinal cord. He could be moved to a new facility in a few days, said Tracey Martin.

Jacky Martin was injured when thrown from his mount, Phire Power, who fell after the wire in the sixth race. Phire Power had finished fourth in the $6,500 maiden claiming sprint for Quarter Horses.

Martin had been named to ride Ochoa in the Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso on Monday. He also had the mount on Prospect to the Top in the Grade 1, $1.3 million All American Derby for Quarter Horses on Sunday. The rich races close out the meet at Ruidoso.

Martin has compiled a career record of nearly 3,000 wins and $46 million in mount earnings since he began riding in 1972. He is a member of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.