Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ellis Jockey Gets Back on Horse after Fall

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ellis Jockey Gets Back on Horse after Fall

Article excerpt

Nine days ago at Ellis Park, with another trip to the winner's circle within sight during the last race of the afternoon, Dylan Davis was feeling on top of the world aboard Debits & Credits. Seconds later the apprentice jockey was bouncing off the dirt track.

"I can't remember the ambulance ride or anything. The next thing I know I was at the hospital," Davis said. "Everything started coming back to me slowly as we talked about the race. Then I watched (video) and everything started coming back pretty quick."

A 19-year-old apprentice jockey, Davis had guided Debits & Credits from fifth place at the top of the stretch into position to win alongside Son Tsar ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. But one stride from the finish line, Debits & Credits stumbled.

"I heard Brian right next to me shouting, 'Pull him up, pull him up.' Right at the wire I stood up and pulled back as hard as I could and as fast as I could. But I only had about a second after that," Davis said.

"It was about three jumps after the wire that he went down."

Debits & Credits won the race - a second-consecutive victory with Davis aboard - but during that final surge the 4-year-old somehow broke his left front leg. Owned and trained by Grant Hofmanns, Debits & Credits had to be euthanized.

"The feeling is hard to explain when something like that happens," said Davis, who suffered a mild concussion during the incident. "It's real rocky and doesn't feel good at all. It's kind of changed my view how I look at horses when I get on them.

"I'm more aware than I was at the time. You feel the consequences when something like that happens."

Davis made his debut as a jockey last August at Saratoga Race Course in New York, so his year as an apprentice is nearly over.

An astonishing 64 wins later - and with track record of finishing in the money in more than a third of his races - Davis didn't need much time to earn respect in the jockey room. But then, he walked into the room confident he had chosen the right profession since he's been around race tracks all his life. …

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