Boyd Upgraded to Fair Condition, Able to Speak

Jockey Josh Boyd has been upgraded from critical to fair condition after he suffered a brain injury in a race at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Jan. 30.

Boyd's agent Laurie Madrid said the rider is still on pain medication, but is now semi-conscious and able to speak to and recognize his family members and fiance. The jockey had been unconscious since he underwent brain surgery last week at Thomason Hospital in El Paso, Texas.

"He's talking and recognizing everyone, which is a huge step considering 10 days ago we weren't sure he was going to live," Madrid told The Blood-Horse Feb. 9. "He told his family members that he loved them and he called them by name."

Shortly after Boyd's accident, physicians removed part of his skull and brain to reduce swelling, and replaced his right eyeball, which was dislocated from its socket during the incident, Madrid said. The rider was also treated for various injuries, including minor fractures in two ribs.

Madrid said Boyd has undergone a series of evaluations in the past few days and physicians are now looking at reconstructing the bone around his right eye.

The jockey was thrown to the ground when his horse, Cuervo Brown, broke down during a maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds at the New Mexico track. A trailing horse trampled the jockey while he was still in motion from his fall. Cuervo Brown was later euthanized.

Madrid said a silent auction and a dinner to help raise money for Boyd's recovery are in the planning stages. Meanwhile a fund has been set up to help pay for the rider's medical expenses. Donations can be made to the Homestretch Church in care of the Josh Boyd Fund at 1200 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, NM, 88063.

Boyd, who primarily rides in New Mexico, began his career in 1994. He has 164 wins from 1,479 mounts. Those mounts have earned $1,818,845.

The jockey has a 5-year-old daughter and is engaged to be married this summer.