Quarter Horse Jockey Stimpson Dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jockey Dusty Stimpson, who won one of the richest stakes in quarter horse racing last month, was killed in a car crash. He was 29.
Stimpson died early Tuesday when he was thrown from a car that struck a freeway guard rail, coroner’s spokesman Scott Carrier said.
Stimpson and his girlfriend, assistant trainer Jody Behunin, 29, were returning home from a concert in Bakersfield when their car crashed at a freeway interchange.
Behunin, the driver, was hospitalized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. She was in critical condition Wednesday, spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda said.
``We had gotten rooms in Bakersfield, but Dusty wanted to get home early because he said he had some personal things he needed to take care of,″ said veteran horse trainer Arthur Ortiz, who also was at the concert.
Stimpson, a native of Ogden, Utah, had been riding at Los Alamitos Race Course since 1994 and had a total of 424 wins there. He had 44 career stakes victories that placed him 15th on the all-time list at the track.
He won the last two runnings of the Los Alamitos Million, aboard Your First Moon last month and aboard Dashing Knud in 2000. Stimpson was the track’s second leading rider in earnings with more than $1.7 million in 2001. One of his best runs on the track came in 1999, when he saddled Old Habits to win the All American and Los Alamitos derbies.
``We are all in complete shock,″ said H. Rick Henson, Los Alamitos president and general manager. ``Dusty was a gentleman on and off the track, and we will miss the class and talent that he brought to this sport.″
Stimpson, who is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister, will be buried in Utah. A memorial service is being planned in Southern California.