You know I had written this blog last week but had to turn around and re-write it all because I totally underestimated what was about to happen. Just imagine for a second if you will, you are air-lifted to hospital in another state and you arrive at the ER with severe head injuries, a lacerated neck, broken cheek bone, broken eye socket and a shattered jaw. Now I want you to imagine that a little over 8 weeks later you are back to work in full flow and just to complete the picture, imagine that your job was the reason that you got hurt in the first place and you’re a steeplechase jockey. Well, I’m not one to exaggerate so I had to cut the picture building at that point because you might not believe the story I was telling. In truth, it got even better. Michael Mitchell not only returned to race riding at Parx in Bensalem, PA on Saturday, July 8th – He only went and won the race.
The term “you couldn’t write this” is often over used but really, you couldn’t write this. I mean, I actually tried last week and had to redo it because, well, I couldn’t write this.
I don’t know if I can go on any more about the toughness of this young man. He never lost his grace or class during, what was a horrific experience. Never once did Michael consider not riding again. But what stands out more was his ability to prepare and perform straight out of the blocks. Think about a pitcher or quarterback coming back from a similar injury. They would spend weeks and months rehabbing and having spot starts here and there to get them up to speed. Michael literally gets back on the horse and hits the right notes on day one. Incredible.
The Queen’s Cup sends its congratulations to Michael and all the team with Arch Kingsley’s who of course prepared Show Court to win last Saturday. We think this would make a good movie.
See you at the races. Your newest tradition.