JOCKEY (1980 Documentary) w/BONUS FOOTAGE
In 1973 RON TURCOTTE gained everlasting fame as the rider of Meadow Stable's SECRETARIAT, the first Thoroughbred to sweep the Triple Crown in 25 years and one of the best horses of the 20th Century. This very rare feature shows the unfortunate 1978 mishap of then 36-year-old Hall-of-Fame rider, RON TURCOTTE (IN GREAT DETAIL), that ultimately lead to his permanent paralysis...being wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life...another sad chapter in racing along with in-depth coverage afterwards of TURCOTTE going through physical therapy and talking candidly about his condition and hopes of recovery. TURCOTTE was entering his prime when he was lost to his sport. TURCOTTE, who was aboard a filly named FLAG OF LEYTE GULF in a July 13, 1978, featured allowance race at Belmont Park, went down hard after the filly clipped heels in close quarters and fell shortly after the start. It was his 20,309th mount since his first ride aboard WHISPERING WIND at the old Woodbine. Another horse veered into his horse's path and TURCOTTE's horse went down, whipping the 110-pound jockey into the dirt. Two vertebrae were damaged, two more were crushed. TURCOTTE was 36 and the winner of more than 3,033 races, the first jockey in 70 years to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbys. In 1972 and 1973, the little lumberjack had won five of the six Triple Crown events but now came a terrible leavening.
Suffering vertebral damage in the thoracic region, TURCOTTE underwent surgery the following day at New York University Hospital in Manhattan. He who had known an angel's flight would be earthbound forever. In 27 years in the chair, TURCOTTE has seen his condition stay static while the words used to describe it change. "Some people say you're handicapped, not crippled," TURCOTTE said. "Well, handicapped is crippled. If you can't raise your leg, you're crippled. I call them as I see it." He bought land back home just before the accident and along with Gaetane, a local girl he married 40+ winters ago, TURCOTTE raised four daughters. His injuries were too profound to allow him to work in the business. "I can't trust my body, I get bladder infections, back pains. I can't promise someone I will be somewhere because I never know if my body will let me."
A few years ago, a life-sized bronze of SECRETARIAT was erected at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The park is the final resting place of the only other horse worthy of compare to SECRETARIAT, MAN O'WAR. TURCOTTE was there for the dedication; the statue depicted SECRETARIAT being led to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs for the 1973 Kentucky Derby by groom Eddie Sweat. In the irons is RON TURCOTTE. "Being immortalized on that big horse ... I'll be long gone and that bronze will still be there," said TURCOTTE, the little man who rode on the wings of greatness. "That's a real honour. That's immortality."
Told in startling detail by William Conrad, this expose' reveals the lives of the small people who race for the money and glory in spite of the constant specter of injury or death. This film intimately depicts the profession and exposes their role in racing's bribery and drugging scandals.
The probing eye of the camera provides scenes ranging from horrendous spills to candid glimpses into the excesses of the jockey lifestyle.
This extremely rare piece of racing history can be yours.
AS AN ADDED BONUS....RON TURCOTTE is shown after the main feature in a commercial for, "Taking the Reins", in support of permanently disabled jockeys for the, "Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund", an NTRA charity in addition to being shown presenting the winner's glassware trophy with jockey Alan Garcia for race #4 at Saratoga on August 11, 2012.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|