Trainer Archie Cox suffered a separated pelvis in a freak accident on Feb. 8. Cox was riding a horse at the walk back to his stables on the HITS Desert Circuit showgrounds in Thermal, Calif., when the horse tripped and went down on his knees.
“I leaned back and pulled his head up, and in doing so put my shoulders back and my hips forward. I heard a terrible grinding sound like bones, and the person riding next to me even heard it, “ Cox said. “I was immediately covered in sweat from head to toe and white as a ghost. It was enormously painful, but if I wasn’t moving, it didn’t hurt. I couldn’t get off the horse!”
Cox called HITS Technical Director Brian Morris, who mobilized the medics. After Cox was administered some morphine, six firefighters and volunteers lifted him off the horse and onto a backboard on a truck they drove up next to the horse. “The horse was a saint for the entire thing; he never moved a muscle,” Cox said.
Cox was transferred from JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, Calif., to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was diagnosed with a separated pelvis. The pelvic bone had pulled away from the cartilage that holds it together at the front of the pelvis. Fortunately, the separation wasn’t severe enough to require surgery to repair it, and Cox is already on the mend. He was released from the hospital on Feb. 10.
“I don’t see myself riding in the near future, but I was using a walker, and now I’m up and walking around,” he said. He plans to be back teaching in time for Week 4 of the HITS Desert Circuit on Feb. 19.