Paralyzed Jockey is 'Family' to Many at Canterbury Park

Updated: 03/14/2014 7:00 PM
Created: 03/14/2014 4:03 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

When friends remember the racing career of jockey Anne Von Rosen, maybe they'll picture her in the winner's circle at Canterbury Park, her summertime home for more than a decade.

"There are people at other racetracks across the country that don't know her," explained an emotional Ed Underwood, the Canterbury Park chaplain, "their heart is broken for her."

Underwood prays with Von Rosen before races. He says the first thing they pray for is safety.

"Maybe my reaction tells you that you quickly become family," he said through tears.

Von Rosen couldn't have known she'd compete in her last race Tuesday, riding Panchita Bonita at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. After the race, the horse collapsed on top of Von Rosen, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

"It's tragic," Chaplain Underwood's wife, Patrice, said Friday. She's known Von Rosen for years too, is a former jockey herself, and still works at Canterbury. "There's always that danger because of the size and the speed that's involved, but even though we know it can happen, it's tragic when it does."

Not only is it tragic, it's a reminder -- to the whole community, the whole family -- of the risks they take every time they step onto the track.

As Chaplain Underwood put it, "in most of our culture, we live without the real feeling of 'tragedy can happen to me today.' It's here everyday on a racetrack."

An account has been set up for Von Rosen at Voyager Bank in Shakopee. If you'd like to donate, you can send a check made out to: "For The Benefit of Anne Von Rosen" to Voyager Bank, 500 Marschall Rd., Shakopee, MN 55379.

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