Anne Von Rosen worked for success as a jockey. Now injured, she plans to get back on her feet the same way.
Bill Irvine was a racetrack veteran before Canterbury Downs opened in the summer of 1985. As we novices descended on the Shakopee horse palace, he became one of my mentors and appeared in long-ago columns as “Bill the Cigar.’’
One issue faced as a new horseplayer was to determine, after a losing bet, if I should be mad at a jockey for giving my horse a lousy ride. Irvine seemed to have that theory down to a science.
Bill the Cigar still communicates with friends through notes and letters. I received a letter recently lamenting the grievous injury suffered by Anne Von Rosen, a veteran Canterbury Park jockey, in an accident at Turf Paradise (Phoenix) two months ago.
The letter was full of praise for Von Rosen: She could ride, Irvine wrote, and she always gave a best effort, while also taking care of her horse.
Bill the Cigar does not hand out such accolades for a jockey freely. They are earned. And Von Rosen was validating Irvine’s opinion this winter with an excellent meeting at Turf Paradise. She had 54 winners and was fourth in the jockey standings.
On March 11, a Tuesday, Anne finished second on Panchita Bonita in a 400-yard quarterhorse race. A couple of strides beyond the finish, the horse collapsed, landed on Von Rosen, trapped her underneath and crushed her spine.
She was transported 4 miles to a branch of the Lincoln Hospital chain. Doctors performed emergency surgery to save Von Rosen’s life. Another surgery followed to allow her to be able to sit in a wheelchair.
“The doctors I’ve seen agree that I won’t walk again,’’ Von Rosen said. “They are wrong. I’m going to walk.’’
Von Rosen was on the phone from a clinic in Frankfurt, Germany. She was transported there in mid-April to be near her family.
Anne’s injury was sustained at T-5, a thoracic vertebrae in the mid-back. She is paralyzed in the trunk and legs.
Von Rosen’s father, Jurgen, is a physician, specializing in holistic medicine. When this conversation took place, she had twice been visited by an acupuncturist recommended by her father.
“The first time, he touched my toes and feet with the needles and I felt nothing,’’ Von Rosen said. “The second time, I knew there was something there. It’s going to be a long process, but being able to feel something tells me I’m going to walk.’’
Von Rosen is 43. She came to the United States in the late ’90s to work at an equine hospital in Lexington, Ky.
“I didn’t know anybody,’’ she said. “I met a few people in horse racing and wound up at Tampa Bay Downs. People encouraged me to become a jockey.’’
Back home, the enthusiasm level for this career choice was not great. Not only is Dad a physician, but Anne has a brother who is a cardiologist.
“My dad didn’t like the idea of me being a jockey,’’ Anne said. “He thought it was dangerous. When he did come over and saw the way I could ride, saw me compete, he was proud of me.
“You could say he was right about the danger, but this was not something that happened in a race. The race was over. This was a total fluke.’’
Anne’s riding career started at a track in Fort Pierre, S.D., in 2001. It’s a short spring meeting at the Stanley County Fairgrounds. She was given a shot to ride by trainer Vic Hanson.
|Tennessee||12/18/14 7:25 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/20/14 3:30 PM|
|San Diego||12/20/14 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|NY Giants||12/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Buffalo||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Atlanta||100||4th Qtr 9:47|
|Orlando||59||3rd Qtr 10:26|
|Brooklyn||39||2nd Qtr 7:08|
|Memphis||11||1st Qtr 6:51|
|James Madison||65||2nd Half 3:38|
|SIU Edwardsville||57||2nd Half 2:01|
|St Francis-PA||63||2nd Half 1:14|
|North Florida||50||2nd Half 9:35|
|Catawba||61||2nd Half 3:12|
|Ferrum||47||2nd Half 1:19|
|Hampton||44||2nd Half 4:55|
|Gardner-Webb||63||2nd Half 2:52|
|Longwood||52||2nd Half 2:58|
|Arkansas State||64||2nd Half 2:47|
|Tennessee||58||2nd Half 3:52|
|Manhattan||47||2nd Half 3:21|
|Robert Morris||52||2nd Half 3:42|
|Char Southern||55||2nd Half 0:39|
|Kennesaw St||82||2nd Half 2:00|
|Barber-Scotia||48||2nd Half 1:33|
|Detroit||38||2nd Half 12:15|
|Liberty||33||2nd Half 14:26|
|TX A&M-CC||18||1st Half 0:13|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||27||2nd Half|
|UT Martin||18||1st Half 1:00|
|Milligan||34||1st Half 3:05|
|Abilene Christian||27||1st Half 1:49|
|USC Upstate||29||2nd Half|
|Alcorn State||24||2nd Half|
|Central Mich||32||1st Half 1:34|
|Georgia State||27||2nd Half|
|TX-Pan American||24||1st Half 2:18|
|Ill-Chicago||12||1st Half 2:36|
|Texas State||28||1st Half 0:55|
|Stephen F Austin||27|
|SC State||20||1st Half 3:20|
|Missouri State||28||2nd Half|
|Chicago State||33||1st Half 1:29|
|Morehead State||19||1st Half 5:21|
|Northern Colorado||30||1st Half 2:05|
|New Mexico St||8:00 PM|
|San Diego St||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||8:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||8:00 PM|
|Central Arkansas||9:00 PM|
|Grambling St||10:00 PM|
|Nevada||12/20/14 10:00 AM|
|Utah State||12/20/14 1:20 PM|
|(23) Utah||12/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Mich||12/20/14 4:45 PM|
|South Alabama||12/20/14 8:15 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State||66||FINAL|
|(1) South Carolina||69||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||91||FINAL|
|Northern Colorado||41||2nd Half 3:44|
|Youngstown St||61||2nd Half 0:27|
|Texas Southern||90||2nd Half 0:41|
|Northwestern||83||2nd Half 2:50|
|NC A&T||66||1st OT|
|NC Central||52||2nd Half 1:21|
|Cincinnati||50||2nd Half 2:05|
|Alabama State||50||2nd Half 3:57|
|Morehead St||51||2nd Half 7:57|
|Prairie View||34||2nd Half 16:04|
|Sam Houston St||33|
|McNeese State||19||1st Half 0:05|
|Oakland||25||1st Half 0:50|
|Eastern Kentucky||41||1st Half 1:44|
|SIU-Edwardsville||17||1st Half 0:31|
|North Texas||9:00 PM|