Monday, March 14, 2011


I would like to take this opportunity to say BRAVO!!! to John Shear, who is employed as a guard in the paddock at Santa Anita Park. Shear's job is normally to extend a rope to close off the opening in the paddock's walking ring. However, on Saturday, Shear went above and beyond his normal duties to save a situation that could have been a near-catastrophe. According to the report on, Shear put himself into harm's way when Sea And Sage broke loose in the paddock and headed straight for the opening Shear closes off. There was a young girl directly in the path of the loose horse and Shear inserted himself as protection for the girl and the horse collided with Shear instead of the girl, who was estimated to be around three or four years old.

Thankfully, Shear never lost consciousness and after receiving first aid on the scene was sent to a hospital in Pasadena for further evaluation. Shear was listed as stable on Sunday and appeared to be none the worse for wear. The girl was completely unharmed in the incident. Sea And Sage was brought back to the barn of trainer Gary Mandella was was also unharmed.

One little point I forgot to mention in this whole story is that John Shear is 90 years old. Yes, that's right 90!!! John Shear is also a former jockey and any jockey, former or otherwise, is one tough cookie. So, John Shear is a hero in every sense of the word. If you see him at Santa Anita at any time in the near future, be sure to tell him so. The girl's parents made sure to let the track know he was, it is certainly the least any of us could do. BRAVO John Shear!!!

Tune in again tomorrow from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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