Dot Sibille -- The Relationship

The following excerpt is from Women in Racing: In Their Own Words. Published September 2001 from Eclipse Press.

I don't think there's anything bad about being a rider's wife. Girls who cut our hair say, "That's got to be exciting." And I say, "It is!" What wife can go to their husband's job and watch them and be excited at that time? I mean there's not too many women that say "I can go watch my husband at work." What, sit at a desk? Maybe that's what they like. But for me, every minute that I watch my husband is exciting. So I think it's a privilege to be a rider's wife.

I guess it's because we've always been so fortunate -- knock on wood. Ray has had injuries, but nothing we couldn't overcome. But I've seen other riders, you know they come every year, the quadriplegics that have happened on the track and all that. Ray's on his thirty-first year of riding, and we've just been so fortunate.

I'm a chicken for pain, but Ray has a very high tolerance of pain. He's had the collarbone broken three times and had surgery in one of them and put a pin in. But the scaredest I ever got was in San Francisco. He came out of the gate and a filly mashed his lower abdomen. He was worried about a hole or something they had to stitch up.

Well, we're at this hospital in San Francisco. Usually in the emergency room they don't tend to pay attention as much as that. But there was this one emergency doctor and she says, "Look at the bottom of his foot." I came at the end of the bed and one foot was kind of purple. She says, "There's no circulation there." So she called in a vascular surgeon. Ray says, "No, stitch me up. I'm okay. We're going to go to dinner."

They rush him into surgery. We had to wait about an hour for him. And he had to have a six-inch artificial artery put in where the horse had mashed him. And he could have lost his leg that night.

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