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He serves on the board of the directors of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and offers encouragement to injured riders. TURCOTTE: Well, Riva Ridge was actually the horse that saved the farm. He left school at age 14 to work with his father as a lumberjack, then at age 18, headed to Toronto looking for construction work. He is an advocate for the disabled and helps to raise funds for disability programs. The van he was driving flipped after hitting a snowbank. • Defeated the field at Belmont by a jaw-dropping 31 lengths with a record time of 2:24 for 1.5 miles. He was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada. In 1984 he became the first ever recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award given annually to the jockey who is Canadian-born, Canadian-raised, or a regular in the country, who has made significant contributions to the sport. In 1960 unemployment sent him to Toronto, there he obtained a job as a hot-walker at E. P. Taylor’s Windfield farm. The Hawthorne Racing Hall of Fame His career ended tragically on July 13, 1978 when he became paralyzed from the waist down in a racing accident at Belmont Park. As per our current Database, Ron Turcotte is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020). Then, I let him run to show everybody what he could do. And the same goes for the next two races of the Triple Crown. Tell me about that. [8], Directed by Phil Comeau, a National Film Board of Canada documentary feature film on Ron Turcotte's life and career, Secretariat's Jockey, Ron Turcotte, had its world premiere in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2013. Turcotte and a friend were both injured in the accident. In the 2010 Disney movie Secretariat, Ron Turcotte's role as Secretariat's jockey is played by Otto Thorwarth, a real life jockey himself. One of the stewards asked me where I was heading next. The record achievements of Secretariat, the chestnut colt ridden by Ron Turcotte during the 1973 U.S. Thoroughbred Triple Crown, remain unmatched to this day. In his short career he won over 3000 races and many major stakes, the most notables being: 2 Canadian Championships, – 2 Massachusetts Handicap – 2 Laurel Futurity Stakes – 2 Garden State Stakes – The New York Sports Hall Of Fame Ron Turcotte's measurements, clothes & shoes size is being updated soon or you can click edit button to update Ron Turcotte's height and other parameters. In 1960 unemployment sent him to Toronto, there he obtained a job as a hot-walker at E. P. Taylor’s Windfield farm. I contracted meningitis, went into a coma and they had to re-operate. Equestrian show jumper nicknamed "Captain Canada" who won the Canadian Show Jumping Championship eleven times. I’ve seen them all. Below are career highlights of acclaimed jockey Ron Turcotte, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, and a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1967. Horse jockey most well known for becoming the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup since the event's inception in 1861. • Had a heart weighing approximately 22 pounds, more than twice the size of that of an average horse, as revealed by a necropsy in 1989. Social Media Policy. TURCOTTE: Well, when we came to the Preakness, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown, I think that was the most beautiful of the races that I rode. • Invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 1974, the first person associated with thoroughbred racing in Canada to receive such an honor. Being a jockey is a very dangerous profession, but that’s something that never entered our minds. [4], A well-known survivor of an on-track accident, Turcotte makes appearances at racetracks to raise funds and awareness of the assistance that the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) provides to fellow injured riders. Allez France and Dahlia: A Tale of Two Fillies, The Fastest Horse of the Past Quarter Century. • Rode Secretariat to victory in the 1973 Triple Crown, becoming the first jockey in 70 years to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbys and the first in history to capture 5 of 6 consecutive Triple Crown races (matched in 2015 by Victor Espinoza). We won by 31 lengths and took 2 and 3/5 seconds off the track record. Ron Turcotte appeared at Remington Park in Oklahoma City on October 10, 2010, to help promote the new Secretariat movie. And he was so sure that he said he would quit training. One of twelve children, Turcotte was always known to be a strong jockey because of his early years as a lumberjack. As an apprentice jockey he rode Windfields' Northern Dancer to his first victory. [8] Directed by Phil Comeau , a National Film Board of Canada documentary feature film on Ron Turcotte's life and career, Secretariat's Jockey, Ron Turcotte , had its world premiere in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2013. The George Woolf Memorial Award Oh, he was a very kind horse. Halls Of Fame Induction: He is best known for riding the horse Secretariat. American Classic Race wins:Kentucky Derby (1972 & 1973)Preakness Stakes (1965 & 1973)Belmont Stakes (1972 & 1973)United States Triple Crown (1973). • Broke another record at the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, finishing in 1:53 flat. Irish horse jockey who became the first of his profession to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2010. The Canadian Sovereign Award But Secretariat was the frosting on the cake. TURCOTTE: Yes, I was leading rider the first year I rode in Canada. I went there to ride a horse for Mr. William du Pont, and I won. He told me, “You can ride with anybody. [citation needed], In 1972 he rode Riva Ridge to victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Not long after that, I became a jockey, even though I didn’t know anything about racing. [citation needed], He was voted the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award that honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. Use this page to find out if Ron Turcotte is dead or alive. Why was that? In 2015, a statue of Secretariat and Turcotte crossing the finish line at the Belmont Stakes was unveiled in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, the hometown of Turcotte. The Canadian All Sports Hall Of Fame He is now sixty nine years old and is confined to a wheelchair due to a bad spill in 1978. Ron Turcotte is a Canadian Horse Jockey from Canada. We headed by the guards, and he dropped me off at the office of a man who helped me find a job at E.P. There was a state race at the Aqueduct. We won the Derby with him, and if it weren’t a muddy day at the Preakness, we would have gone on to win the Triple Crown. What inspired you to join in 1967, and what has been your experience with the Order? [3], Turcotte now lives in his home town of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife Gaëtane and their four daughters. He was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada. Champion show jumper who has won events like the ASPCA Maclay National Championship. The Paul Harris Fellowship Award COLUMBIA: After your tragic accident in 1978, what role did your faith and family play in helping you through? [3], Turcotte now lives in his home town of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife Gaëtane and their four daughters. At the same time, he was a very versatile horse. He is the first person from Thoroughbred racing ever to be appointed a member of the Order of Canada. When I came out the gate in the Belmont, I just took it easy, letting him get his feet under him. Turcotte was North America's leading stakes-winning jockey in 1972 and 1973. COLUMBIA: What led you to become a jockey? According to astrologers, the sign of Cancer belongs to the element of Water, just like Scorpio and Pisces. I’ve always enjoyed being a Knight, and I used to attend a lot of meetings when I lived in New York. Five years after winning the Triple Crown, he was thrown from a horse on the Belmont track and suffered major injuries, ending his career and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Turcotte began his career in Toronto as a hot walker for E. P. Taylor's Windfields Farm in 1959, but he was soon wearing the silks and winning races. [citation needed]. The faster you worked him, the faster he’d run his races. He gained prominence with his victory aboard Tom Rolfe in the 1965 Preakness Stakes. The New Brunswick sports hall of Fame. I joined a council on Long Island and soon became a Third Degree member. The horse lived to be 19 years old, before dying in 1989, and the trainer, Lucien Laurin, died in 2000. He began his career as a hot walker in 1959. I already had a Hall of Fame career up to that time and had ridden a lot of great horses — more than I can remember. COLUMBIA: What was it like to ride Secretariat? The jockey who rode Secretariat to victory 45 years ago, however, is still alive and well, and he is a 51-year member of the Knights of Columbus. In 1970 he also became the only jockey to win the Hialeah Turf Series (the Palm Beach, Bougainvillea and Hialeah Turf Cup) aboard the grass horse Vent du Nord. I decided to go back with him to Toronto, but when we arrived, the carpenters were on strike. A photograph of Secretariat winning the race, with Turcotte looking over his shoulder at the pack, far behind, became famous. Canadian horse jockey and American racing legend who won the 1973 Triple Crown. I told Lucien that if I got beat in that race, I was going to hang my tag and quit riding. [7], In the 2010 Disney movie Secretariat, Ron Turcotte's role as Secretariat's jockey is played by Otto Thorwarth, a real life jockey himself. We kept going back and forth until I kind of won my point, because the horse was getting stronger and stronger all the time. [citation needed], Turcotte's career ended in 1978 following a tumble from his horse, Flag of Leyte Gulf, at the start of a race at Belmont Park. He had ability, and he was the greatest horse I’ve ever seen. He recorded his first win in 1962 and was Canada’s top jockey in 1962 and 1963, then went on to race in the US. Still, few could imagine how stunning the win at the 1973 Belmont Stakes would be, with a speed and margin of victory that remain unmatched. By winning Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes with Secretariat in 1973, he became the first jockey in 70 years to win back to back Kentucky Derbys and the only jockey to win five of six consecutive Triple Crown races. In the 2010 Disney movie Secretariat, Ron Turcotte's role as Secretariat's jockey is played by Otto Thorwarth, a real life jockey himself. And he told me — this is before the Belmont — “Son, you’re riding the greatest horse that ever lived.” And he said, “Believe me, I know. What really impressed me was how tough a horse he was, how strong he was. Still, I always kept a St. Christopher medal in my car and a small crucifix in my helmet. Secretariat, known affectionately as “Big Red,” had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in dramatic fashion the previous month. They treated me the same as when I was riding, as the same person. ... ‘Yeah, I’ve still got it.’ ... including Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet, Sandy Hawley, Cash Asmussen, Laffit Pincay, Eddie Maple, Angel Cordero, Steve Cauthen and Bill Shoemaker.

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