Veteran New York-based jockey Jean-Luc Samyn will be sidelined approximately one month after cutting off two fingers and breaking another in a snowblower accident.
Samyn, 54, was unclogging his snowblower on Feb. 21, with the power of the machine turned off, when the blade moved forward and cut off two-thirds of the index and middle fingers on his right hand. He also fractured the ring finger on his right hand in the incident.
“You have to look on the bright side,” said Samyn, who hopes to return to riding in either late March or early April. “I am fortunate that this didn’t end up being worse.”
The French native has won 2,611 races over the course of his 36-year career, with more than $94 million in purses earned. He boasts more than 110 stakes victories in New York, perhaps most notably riding John’s Call to wins in the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) and Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT), both in 2000.
Samyn, who has won two races at Aqueduct this year, remained upbeat despite the setback.
“This is actually good for my career, because I’m now lighter,” he joked. “If trainers want a light jockey, they can ride me.”