Updated on 09/05/2014 9:16AM

Sandy Lovato, wife of Eclipse-winning jockey, dies

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Sandy Lovato, a therapeutic riding instructor and the wife of 1980 champion apprentice Frank Lovato Jr., died on Wednesday morning in an automobile accident in Huron County, Ohio.

Lovato, 54, died of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle accident on a county road at 8:54 a.m. Wednesday, according to police reports. The report said that Lovato’s vehicle was struck by a car that failed to yield at a stop sign at a rural intersection.

Lovato was the program director of Stampede of Hope, a non-profit in Ohio that uses horseback riding for therapy for children and adults with special needs. She recently completed a course to receive her certification as Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor, according to the Stampede website.

Frank Lovato Jr., whose father was also a rider, won nearly 1,700 races in a 25-year riding career, mostly in New York. In 1981, he invented the Equicizer, a machine that is nearly ubiquitous in jockey rooms at U.S. tracks, and is a co-founder of Stampede for Hope.

The Lovatos had been married for 31 years. She is survived by three children.

April Smith More than 1 year ago
We lost one of the people who enhance people and animal.s lives everyday. My sympathies to her wonderful family.
Karina Serna More than 1 year ago
Frankie, I am at loss on what to say. We send our love and prayers to you and your family for Sandy "who loved to love and believed we can never give enough". Karina, Anthony and kids
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sad news. Frank Lovato is a kind soul and this is just awful. My condolences to the entire Lovato family.
Matties More than 1 year ago
What a tremendous loss to the horse community. Our condolences to Frankie and his family.
Pat Lydon More than 1 year ago
I pray people send in donations to Stampede of Hope, a non-profit in Ohio. In Honor of such a Amazing woman. https://www.facebook.com/stampedeofdreams 10.00 helps to support doing the right thing.. just way Sandy did it. All love
Pat Diers More than 1 year ago
This is terrible and shocking new....such a loss for her family and all of us.
Johni Lingron More than 1 year ago
So sorry, my heart goes out to the family.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Very sad to hear about this.
Torrie Ann Needham More than 1 year ago
My dear friend Frankie, I'm at a loss for words hearing this news. Bless her heart, She will be missed by us all. My prayers and heart felt thoughts to you and your family. Warm hugs, Torrie
Larry Kelly More than 1 year ago
The racing world lost another of its bright spots.we will all miss sandy's kind honest smile. My heart goes out to Frankie and family...from all the Kellys Much love Larry Kelly. ..