Blake Heap Home After Being Injured in Mishap

Outrider and trainer, 54, needed reconstructive surgery to repair right shoulder.

Outrider Blake Heap, also a longtime Southern California trainer, was at his Monrovia home Feb. 3, five days after suffering multiple injuries in a training mishap at Santa Anita five days earlier.

He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital for treatment following the Jan. 30 incident. He required 4 ½ hours of reconstructive surgery to repair his right shoulder.

“I’m just trying to get stable,” the 54-year-old Heap said in a telephone interview. “I have a broken (right) shoulder, (fractured) orbital bones, my nose is broken and I have a chip in my knee and a break or something in the D12 (vertebrae) of my back. The shoulder is the worst of my injuries, and I also have a pretty bad sprained (right) ankle. My face looks like it went through a sand blaster."

Heap was released from the hospital a day earlier, approximately 48 hours after his surgery.

“I’ve been working on the race track all my life, but these are the worst injuries I’ve ever had, for sure. This is definitely the most pain and the most restrictive. I can’t walk, I can’t use my arms, I can’t do anything.”

In addition to his outriding duties, Heap also oversees a small public stable, which is currently operating with the help of Rick Bassett, an owner and former pari-mutuel clerk.

Along with Basset, Heap is being assisted by his youngest son, Tom. Heap’s oldest son, Cody, is currently on active duty in the Marine Corps.