Track mishap claims horse, disables jockeys
GRANTS PASS — In Sunday's 12th race at Grants Pass Downs, Inclement Weather collapsed past the half-mile mark. His jockey, Frank Williams, broke two ribs and a collarbone in the fall.
Just behind them was Terrance Birdrattler on I'm a Little Bit Sassy.
"My horse was way out of it," Birdrattler said. "I put my head down for a second and the horse in front of me went down. I didn't know that. I stumbled over him."
He was thrown and broke his left wrist when landing.
Both jockeys were at the track Tuesday, wearing slings. They will be out of action for several weeks. Birdrattler, who lacks all feeling in three fingers, was waiting for a doctor's OK before driving his pickup back to the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana.
Inclement Weather, a 9-year-old gelding, broke a front leg and had to be euthanized after he was taken by van off the track.
"He was the first horse in 32 years that broke on me," said his owner, Warren Brown. "When they change their leads like that and the weight distribution goes over, sometimes they break."
A photo of Brown and Inclement Weather appeared Saturday in the Mail Tribune. In the accompanying story, Brown was quoted as saying: "My mom died and my wife left me in the same week. Then he won a race in Sacramento. It hit me in the heart."
Inclement Weather's odds in that 2008 race were 57-to-1.
On Tuesday, Brown noted that Inclement Weather had been scheduled to retire at a good home in Bradley, Calif.
"The family fell in love with him," he said. "Everybody who knew him did."
The loss of this horse has also affected Brown's other thoroughbred at Grants Pass Downs, O'Mali's Angel.
"They were close, always playing and nibbling each other," Brown said. "I've borrowed a horse and put him in the stall next to O'Mali. He's doing better. He needs a friend."