THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 21 January 2015, Wednesday
An update on a fallen jockey
Jockey Leonardo “Boy” T. Cuadra Jr., who suffered a severe accident last Nov. 2, 2014 at the Metro Manila Turf Club racecourse, is improving, after a long medical ordeal where his life hung in the balance.
Cuadra fell off a horse and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He underwent two major operations, one to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain from hematomas.
Thanks to youth, clean living, and plenty of exercise, Cuadra pulled through. His physicians call his remarkable recovery a miracle.
However, his medical care does not come cheap. Hence the continued appeals of Cuadra’s family and his fellow jockeys for donations. A few horseowners questioned whether this was appropriate, given that three percent is deducted from horseowners’ prizes for the jockeys’ fund, which is supposed to handle these types of concerns.
The New Philippine Jockeys Association led by Gilbert Francisco readily gave a breakdown of Cuadra’s expenses. From Nov. 2, 2014 to Jan. 15, 2015, Cuadra’s medical bills have reached nearly P2.3 million. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office contributed P400,000. Assorted benefits (jockeys’ fund, funds raised during the annual jockeys’ day, accident insurance, and others) were good for P800,000. Donations from sponsors, around P300,000.
There is still an unpaid balance of P795,000 to date as of Jan. 15.
Among the generous sponsors who gave varying amounts are Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos, horseowners Joseph Dyhengco, Ruben Dimacuha, and Honorato Neri, race coverage announcer Macky Maceda, Manila Horsepower Organization’s Ferdie Eusebio (Makati City councilor), trainer Dodeck Vicente and his group, the Philippine Race Horse Trainers Association, and Metro Manila Turf Club.
Also among the contributors of certain percentages from their prizes were jockeys who won and placed up to third in the races from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7, 2014.
The jockeys’ association says that they have complete records of all funds received and can account for all of them. In the spirit of transparency, they can provide the information, should anyone require it for legitimate purposes.
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The Philippine Racing Commission successfully staged two stakes races for 3YO last weekend at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park, the horseracing agency’s first salvo for the 2015 season.
In the 3YO Local Fillies Stakes last Saturday (Jan. 17), Princess Ella won by a neck, followed by Princess Meili, Hurricane Ridge, and Burbank in that order, with a time of 1:18.8.
The 3YO Colts stakes on Sunday (Jan. 18), was won by Showtime, who put two lengths between himself and second placer Thunder Maxx. Jebel Ali was third, and Super Spicy fourth.
Their time was slower than the fillies, at 1:19.6.
The 1,800-meter Philracom Commissioner’s Cup is set for Sunday (Jan. 25) at Metro Turf racecourse. Declaration was ongoing as of press-time, so the final line-up was unavailable.
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