08/24/2010 1:51PM

Steeplechase rider Garner injured in morning mishap at Saratoga


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Ben Garner, an amateur steeplechase jockey who has served as an exercise rider for trainer Doug Fout for the past 18 months, was injured in a freak accident during training hours at Saratoga on Tuesday morning.

According to Fout, Garner was returning to his barn at the annex to the Oklahoma training center after galloping Scheming on the main track shortly before 8 a.m. when a loud bang from the maintenance shed spooked the unraced horse.

“The horse bolted down the path, slipped on the asphalt and fell on top of Ben,” said Fout by phone from the emergency room at Albany Medical Center early Tuesday afternoon.

Fout said Garner was conscious but heavily sedated. He reported his rider had movement in all his extremities and had suffered no apparent fractures.

“Right now I’m waiting on an update from the neurosurgeon regarding his condition,” said Fout. “He’s been with me for a year and one half and is a great kid. He hasn’t won any races at the hunt meets but he has won several for me at the point to points.”