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Jockey Mike Rowland loses his fight for life

Monday, February 9, 2004 12:00 AM
  • General
(DOB and age corrected)
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 9, 2004 . . . Jockey Michael Rowland, injured in an accident at Turfway Park last Wednesday, February 4, died about 12:30 a.m. Monday morning at University Hospital in Cincinnati as a result of those injuries. He was 40.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to Mike’s family at this difficult and painful time,” said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston. “Mike’s contagious enthusiasm and his drive for racing excellence will be sorely missed but never forgotten by all of us at Turfway Park.”

Rowland was injured during the seventh race at Turfway when the horse he was riding, World Trade, fractured a foreleg and fell, throwing Rowland to the track. He was in the lead at the time and two horses behind him were unable to avoid his fallen mount. The jockeys on those horses also were unseated. Jessica Endres was treated at the scene. Mark Johnston was hospitalized overnight for treatment of a broken collarbone.

Rowland was born September 12, 1963, in Saratoga Springs, New York. His first win came in 1979 on Tam’s Princess at Delta Downs in Louisiana. He won 29 meet titles at Thistledown, near Cleveland, and was that track’s leading rider for the year seven times. Riding at Turfway for the Winter/Spring Meet, he was two wins away from 4,000 career victories, a milestone reached by fewer than 45 jockeys since records have been kept. He is survived by his wife, Tammy, and his daughters, Sara, 8, Farren, 15, and Randi, 20.

Elliston announced that Turfway Park has established the Michael F. Rowland Fund at Fifth/Third Bank. Donations to the fund can be made at any Fifth/Third Bank location. Those not living near a bank branch may send donations to the Michael F. Rowland Fund, c/o Turfway Park, P.O. Box 8, Florence, Ky. 41022.

The family will be returning to Cleveland. Funeral arrangements are pending. A memorial service will be held at Turfway Park at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 11, in the Homestretch dining room.


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