Former Thoroughbed Jockey Gary Boulanger Recovering From Injuries

Former jockey Gary Boulanger, who rode the Florida circuit before he was injured in a 2005 spill at Gulfstream Park, was recovering from surgery Nov. 8 following a farm accident at a facility in Davie, Fla., where he had been teaching riding lessons and working with young students.

Boulanger, 40, suffered a broken tibia and fibia as well as a dislocated ankle in his left leg in the Oct. 29 accident. He underwent surgery at Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines, where doctors inserted screws and a plate, into the injured leg. The former jockey faces at least three months of recovery time and a second surgery to remove the screws at the end of that period.
According to Boulanger's wife, Lisa, the surgery went well and the former jockey had been discharged from the hospital, although he was in severe pain from the operation. The couple has five children, ages 8-19, and a home in Pembroke Pines.
Efforts to aid the family were already underway as the racing community made plans to support the injured horseman. Retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, a longtime friend of Boulanger, in cooperation with Kelly Wietsma of Equisponse, is heading up an assistance campaign.         
Boulanger has been unable to race since the Gulfstream accident, after which he underwent surgery to remove a ruptured spleen and a blood clot from his brain. He also incurred broken ribs and a detached tendon in his left elbow from the spill, and had suffered seizures after having half of his skull removed at the time to prevent cranial pressure.    

(This article was first published at

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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