Jockey Ann von Rosen, 42, was severely injured in a post race accident at the Turf Paradise horse track in Phoenix Tuesday.
Doctors at John C. Lincoln hospital have performed two surgeries in the past three days on von Rosen who suffered a crushed vertebrae and a broken neck.
Known to her friends as "Annie" von Rosen has competed in nearly 5,000 horse races around the country and has 666 wins to her credit.
Tuesday, she piloted a five year old mare, "Ponchita Bonita" to a second place finish. As the horses were being pulled back, or slowed down, that's when the accident happened.
"On the backstretch the horse suddenly went down with her. And when the horse went down, it somersaulted over her with her on it and the horse landed on top of her leg," said Turf Paradise General Manager Vincent Francia.
Francie called von Rosen an accomplished and savvy rider, recalling a laugh they shared in the jock's room shortly before the first race of the day.
"Basically had the horse to a walk and the horse was in distress. Had a heat stroke type of thing and the horse collapsed on her," said close friend and Von Rosen's agent Troy Bainum.
Bainum says von Rosen lives in Phoenix for eight months out of the year. Her family is flying in from Germany her to be with her at the hospital. Both her father and brother are medical doctors.
"She remembers going down, she remembers she couldn't feel her legs when she went down she knew something was wrong," said Bainum. "There's a very, very small chance she will be able to walk again."
Before her second surgery, von Rosen was in good spirits, according to Bainum.
"She's sitting in the bed and I'm talking to her and she's like Troy I'm going to beat this, I'm going to walk again and its the first time I smiled since it happened."
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