By Tom LaMarra of Bloodhorse.com
Jockey Rodolfo Arvizu, who assisted fellow rider Anne Von Rosen after a racing accident earlier this year at Turf Paradise, was presented with the 2014 White Horse Award by the Race Track Chaplaincy of America Oct. 30.
During a Breeder' Cup week luncheon in Arcadia, Calif., also honored were the late Jeff Coady, whose family received the Tribute to Excellence Award; and chaplain Nick Salios and his wife, Rose, who received the Community Service Award. Dean Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, owner of 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man , was the keynote speaker.
On March 11, Von Rosen was pulling up her horse on the backstretch after a 400-yard Quarter Horse race at the Arizona track when it collapsed. Von Rosen fell, was knocked unconscious, and trapped underneath the horse with her foot in a stirrup.
Arvizu, who was behind Von Rosen, jumped off his horse and released Von Rosen's foot to prevent her mount from rolling on top of her. Von Rosen was left paralyzed from the waist down and remains in therapy, but officials said they believe Arvizu's actions saved her life.
"This is something any jockey will do for another jockey," Arvizu, 21, said while receiving his award. "If the same thing had happened to me, she would have done the same thing for me. I'm very grateful to receive this award, and I thank everybody here today."
Reeves told of how he and his wife, Patti, got into the horse racing business and the importance of their Christian faith to their lives and experiences as Thoroughbred owners. Dean Reeves acknowledged there were ups and downs with Mucho Macho Man, but the horse's 2013 Classic victory was an amazing gift.
"Our faith helped us keep our priorities in order," Reeves said. "Be prepared, and know that God may be selecting you for something beyond your wildest dreams."