Surgery on Injured Jockey Smith Called Success

by Chad Cooper

Jockey Guy Smith underwent six hours of surgery April 25 at Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette, La., to repair a broken neck suffered during an April 22 race at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.

Smith was aboard Pronounced in the eighth race when the horse broke down in mid-stride and caused another horse to fall on top of him. Smith shattered his C-7 vertebra and broke his shoulders; doctors repaired the vertebra by using a cadaver bone with a plate and screws.

"The surgery lasted about six hours," said Smith's wife, Holly. "The doctors said it was successful, and now we are waiting to see whether or not to do surgery on his shoulder. Doctors are very optimistic and think there will be no paralysis."

Smith's wife said he was alert and wanted to get up, move around, and even shave. Smith was moved from the intensive care unit to a private room April 27.

Jockey Sylvester Carmouche Jr. also was involved in the spill when his horse, Net Wire, fell trying to avoid Smith. Carmouche was also thrown from his mount and suffered a broken leg. He will have surgery to insert a metal rod.