By KENNY WALTER
OCEANPORT — Spectators held their collective breaths after a jockey was rushed to the hospital after being thrown from his horse during a Labor Day race.
Jockey Laurent Beaucamp was injured during a Sept. 5 race, and Oceanport Councilman Joseph Irace said the scene was scary.
“A 3,000-pound animal goes where he wants to go, and I saw him hit the rail and the jockey hit the ground,” Irace said.
“It was scary, not something you want to see at the racetrack. It was very frightening.”
According to Irace, the latest report had Beaucamp in critical, but stable condition.
Irace said on occasions he has seen jockeys get injured, but the Beaucamp accident seemed worse.
“You kind of forget that these guys are putting their lives on the line,” he said. “I go pretty regularly if I can — I try to go at least one of the two days on the weekends and see at least some of the races.
“This was the first one I remember this year. This was worse, I’ve seen guys get thrown off, but [with] this one the horse ducked in and went over the rail and kind of threw the jockey.”
According to Irace, Beaucamp, a French native, does not regularly race at Monmouth Park.
“He’s not a regular guy, I think that was his first race here,” he said. “I think they said he shipped in from Parx.”
Irace is also no stranger to tragedy at sporting events as he attended the New York Jets game in 1992 where defensive end Dennis Byrd injured his neck in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs that left him paralyzed.