by Kelsey Riley
Jockey Kelsi Purcell is recovering from injuries sustained when she was thrown from her mount in Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino’s first race Feb. 13.
Purcell was aboard the 5-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Stone Cat All Lit Up when the horse clipped heels and fell just after the start of the 870-yard dash for $10,000 Quarter Horse claimers at Sunland Park. Purcell sustained multiple fractured vertebrae and underwent successful surgery Feb. 14 to place two metal rods in her back.
She was released from University Medical Center in nearby El Paso Feb. 17 and is now recovering at home.
“Right now, she’s going to make a 100% recovery,” said Purcell’s ex-husband, Edwin Cornier. “She is walking already.”
Since she became licensed in 2007, Purcell has accumulated 75 wins and 260 placings from 1,548 mounts. The native of British Columbia, Canada, has competed at such tracks as Lone Star Park, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Sunland riding Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, and Arabians. Purcell has won two races in 2010.
Those wishing to support Purcell can join the Facebook page “Kelsi Purcell fans.”
Stone Cat All Lit Up, who was claimed from the race by trainer Andres Gonzalez for owner Ramon O. Gonzalez Jr., was euthanized following the accident. He was a winner of three races from 23 starts.