Driver Gerry Hudon will be sidelined indefinitely as a result of an accident this past Saturday night (Dec. 3) at Northlands Park.
The accident occurred when Cowboy Caper (Keith Clark) broke stride while advancing first-over on the backstretch, causing interference to the trailing horses. Hudon was driving Timberline Court, who was following Cowboy Caper second-over and couldn't avoid the horse in front of him. Hudon was thrown from the racebike as his horse fell.
Hudon, who was taken to hospital and released later that night, told Trot Insider that he's banged up and bruised but the main issue is his right elbow.
"My right elbow is the problem. I have no use of my arm because, my elbow, they say there's a chip lodged in it," said Hudon. "I'm just waiting to get a CT scan to see what they're going to do about it."
The arm has mobility from the shoulder, but because of the chip in the elbow Hudon says the arm is essentially locked in a position resembling a 45 degree angle.
"I've been through the ultrasounds and the x-rays of it. There's definitely something going on but they're not saying much, they're going to wait and have the CT scan done and go from there."
While Hudon naturally feels frustrated with the situation he faces regarding his immobilized arm, the longtime horseman considers himself extremely fortunate.
"I consider myself lucky, I really do. When I was leaving the bike I didn't know where I was going to land. I remember everything about it, I remember Keith [Clark] giving the holler, 'look out! look out!' Well, I was on his helmet...and I tried to go to the inside and maybe that was a mistake. I should have stayed straight at him. You're trying to be defensive too, right?"
Not only did Hudon escape severe and serious injury, thankfully the same can be said about Alberta's Horse of the Year from 2012, Timberline Court.
"He's doing OK, the bullet end of the shaft come around and got him in the side but he's feeling good," noted Hudon. "He's tough, he's an old veteran. I just didn't like seeing him lay out on the track, that horse has been a good horse all his life. He just didn't need that, but it happened so quick, there was nothing anybody could do about it."
Timberline Court is one of 25 horses Hudon currently has in his barn, horses he'll be able to only manage from the sidelines and cheer on during race nights for the time being.
"It's OK, I've got real competent staff and competent young kids that will drive for me...Phil Giesbrecht and Dave Kelly. I've got guys that will do the job."
His staff and catch drivers are just part of the support that Hudon has received since his Saturday spill.
"Everybody's been phoning and asking," said Hudon. "I didn't watch the replay, I never do after I'm in them, but I've had guys phone me and say that was one ugly-looking one."
Please join Standardbred Canada in wishing Gerry Hudon a full and speedy recovery.