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 Post subject: Steeplechase jockey Jorge Torres dies
PostPosted: May 11th, 2011, 4:27 pm 
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(Courtesy of Thoroughbred Times)

Steeplechase jockey Torres dies in South Carolina

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:23 PM

Jorge Torres, a promising young steeplechase jockey, died on May 9 at a Columbia, South Carolina, hospital as a result of injuries sustained in a fall during the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup card in November at Springdale Racecourse.
Torres, 25, was injured in a one-horse accident when his mount, Class Moon, fell in the Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial Stakes on November 13. The jockey, who suffered a severe concussion, a broken pelvis, and fractures to his back, received immediate medical treatment on the course and was flown by helicopter to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, where he remained in a coma until his death. His mount was not injured.
A native of Mexico, Torres had extensive experience as a steeplechase exercise rider in the Camden area, where he has worked for such trainers as Lilith Boucher, Jonathan Sheppard, and Rafael Fernandez.
Torres’ death marks the first fatality related to a steeplechase race accident in more than 30 years. James Stump died as a result of a fall in a Delaware Park steeplechase race on July 19, 1977.
“We are all saddened to learn of Jorge Torres’ death,” said National Steeplechase Association (NSA) President Guy Torsilieri. “By all accounts, he was well-liked and had a promising future as a steeplechase jockey.
“Sadly, this accident is a reminder of the dangers inherent in any professional sport. We take pride in our efforts to protect the well-being of our horses and riders, and to be at the forefront of safety initiatives. Always, the safety of our racing participants is our first priority."
A fund has been established to defray Torres' medical expenses. Donations to the fund can be sent to the Wachovia Bank branch in Camden. The address is: Jorge Torres Fund, Wachovia Bank, 519 E. DeKalb St., Camden, S.C., 29020.
Boucher remembered Torres a young man with boundless enthusiasm and devotion.
"Jorge never let anyone down, personally or professionally. He was always there for you," she said. "His enthusiasm was amazing. He was always there with a big smile."
Boucher, who had raised funds for Torres at race meets, said he invested his time in becoming a complete horseman.
"He was so committed to learning, not only as a rider but also as a horseman," she said.
The NSA announced in March that it has obtained accident insurance coverage for its licensed jockeys. The coverage, which began with the start of the spring racing season at Aiken on March 26, takes effect when a jockey’s personal medical benefit is exhausted. Jockeys are required to show proof of health coverage to be licensed by the NSA.

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