(from Woodbine report)
A golf tournament, dinner and silent auction raised $40,000 on July 30 to support recovering Canadian jockey Chad Beckon.
Owners, trainers, jockeys and friends gathered at Thoroughbred owner Gus Schickedanz's Ballantrae Golf and Country Club near Aurora to honor Beckon, who was seriously injured in a spill at Woodbine on June 17.
"It was a perfect day," said Robert King, manager for the Jockeys' Benefit Association of Canada. "It was wonderful to see so many people come together to support our friend Chad. This is a perfect example of the horse racing community. When someone is hurt or going through tough times, everyone bands together to lend a hand."
It was a sentiment shared by Tony Esposito, Beckon's agent.
"When I spoke at the dinner, it struck me then that in the room were 200 horsepeople taking care of one of their own," said Esposito. "In this type of situation, we might feel ordinary as individuals. But as a group, we feel extraordinary."
The event featured 18 holes of golf, various fundraising activities and dinner to raise funds for Beckon, who is currently undergoing outpatient rehabilitation at a Toronto area hospital.
"He's getting better," said Esposito. "He's working hard at recovering and I know he is very appreciative of everyone's concern for him. So, too, is his wife, Cory. Even though it was an accident that happened to be on one of his horses, Mr. Schickedanz has stepped up to take care of Chad and his family."
Beckon fractured vertebra and a cheekbone in the fall, which occurred when Oliver's Strike, a 3-year-old son of Smart Strike owned by Schickedanz, broke down. Oliver’s Strike died as a result of his injuries.
Veteran rider Robert Landry was happy to be part of the fundraiser.
"I am so proud of the industry," said Landry. "It was great to see everyone come together for Chad. He's always smiling. He seeks out advice from us and he wants to learn. Chad is just a great all-round guy, someone everybody cares about."
Beckon, son of the late Toronto-based jockey Dan Beckon, won his first race on Sept. 10, 2003, teaming with Lil Personalitee at Woodbine. He has two Fort Erie riding titles to his name, in 2005 as an apprentice, and in 2008, as a journeyman.