Rider Gary Baze Injured in Training Collision

Jockey has surgery for fractured vertebrae; has full movement of arms and legs

Jockey Gary Baze suffered broken vertebrae in a training accident Oct. 4 at Turf Paradise near Phoenix, Ariz., and underwent surgery at a nearby hospital, according to his wife, Vicky Baze.

According to Vicky Baze, her husband suffered a burst fracture at t-12, and needed surgery in which a plate and pins were used to stabilize and fuse the bones.

"The doctor says everything is progressing as it should," Vicky Baze said, adding that Gary has full movement of his arms and legs.

According to Vicky Baze, Gary Baze was in the middle of working a horse when the accident occurred. A horse that was galloping suddenly ducked in, colliding with the rear of the horse Gary was riding. The collision knocked Gary off his horse, and during the fall his back struck the inside rail. Baze was then taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix, where he remained Wednesday following surgery.

Vicky Baze said neither of the horses nor the exercise rider involved in the collision was injured.

Gary Baze, 55, has over 3,400 career wins and is in the 2003 inaugural class of the Washington Racing Hall of Fame. He last rode at Emerald Downs in 2008 and has ridden the last few years in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Winnipeg, Canada.

Vicky Baze also is riding at Turf Paradise, and in August became the first woman jockey inducted into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame. Last March she became only the fifth woman jockey with 2,000 career wins.