Horse racing jockey Leonardo Gonzalez

Jockey Leonardo Gonzalez was seriously injured in a race at at Pocatello track on Sept. 25.

A horse racing jockey who was seriously injured during a summer race at the Bannock County Event Center fairgrounds race track in Pocatello is recuperating well, according to LuKrena Schoonover.

Schoonover, who's the president of the Pocatello Downs racing organization that uses the track, said Leonardo Gonzalez was likely going close to full speed when the horse brushed against the race track's railing.

Then both Gonzalez and the horse went down on the track Sept. 25, Schoonover said.

And full speed for race horses is around 44 mph, she said.

“So that makes it even scarier,” Schooner said.

Gonzalez suffered a broken ankle and a skull fracture in the accident, she said.

He was transported by ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello for initial treatment of his injuries.

Gonzalez was then ultimately sent to a rehabilitation center for a few weeks and then medical personnel sent him home, she said.

He suffered serious injuries, but to date by all accounts he has been recuperating well from his injuries, according to Schooner.

“He is doing absolutely amazing, she said.

But she hasn’t asked him yet if he’ll be returning to racing horses.

“I don’t know what the doctors are telling him at this point with a head injury how long they want him to be off,” Schoonover said.

And after his skull fracture heals it would likely be a while before medical personnel would release him to do racing if he's cleared for it.

Currently she says he’s home with his family in California.

Schooner has talked with his Gonzalez' wife and texted back and forth and has kept up with family through their Facebook page.

“He’s doing well and we’re happy to hear that,” Schooner said.

Further she knows others who have talked to him and he seems in good spirits.

In addition, there were also fundraising efforts undertaken for Gonzalez that helped raise money for his medical expenses.

The track was in good condition when the accident happened, Schoonover said.

But it’s difficult to prevent all incidents like this because horses can be unpredictable, she said.

“We focus on the jockeys wearing the appropriate gear that will help protect them as well as making sure the track conditions are safe,” Schoonover said.

Leonardo’s accident was a difficult end to what was otherwise a successful horse racing season at the track, she said.

There were nearly 100 horse races at the track during the 2021 season and just over $800,000 was paid out in purse money.

And that money will eventually be a benefit by feeding back into the economies of the area's local communities, Schoonover said.

Meanwhile, racing officials aim to have all of the planned official racing days nailed down soon for 2022, according to Schoonover.

That way they can get the information out and people can start planning ahead on what they will be doing during the the coming horse racing season, she said.