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Trainer Delany Back Home After Accident at Delta Downs

Trainer Sarah Delany, who was kicked in the back of the neck by a horse last week, was released from a Houston, Texas, hospital Feb. 13. But her road to recovery is just beginning. 

Delany was tending to a horse Feb. 7 at Delta Downs Racetrack when the accident happened. 

“I really don’t know what I would do without all my friends and all the people that have reached out to me and my husband (Benny Martinez). … I’m so blessed,” Delany said via text shortly after being discharged.

She added, “My husband, he has been amazing, took over like a champ.”

Delany was flown from a hospital in Lake Charles, La., to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston where she underwent spinal fusion surgery. She is expected to face a lengthy recovery. 

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She said Feb. 14 that she is in a lot of pain and pain management has been an issue as it has made resting difficult despite being very tired. 

Now home outside of Bossier City, La., Delany will return to Houston in the coming weeks for a follow-up. 

Delany said that she has a small aneurysm on the back of her brain and the hope is that it will heal itself.

“I go back on (the) 29th for an angiogram to see if my brain is getting better,” she wrote.

Fellow trainers Joey and Cheryl Foster spent two days with Delany. According to Joey Foster, had the horse made contact an inch or two from where it did, Delany’s situation could have been much more dire. He believes the prayers that have been coming in from across the racing industry have had an impact.

“She was in bad shape,” said Joey Foster. “But in those 48 hours I was there, you can see a big improvement already.”

Foster raved about Delany’s strength and determination. 

“When the doctor and nurse got her up for the first time and told her, ‘Okay, Sarah, just stand up. Stand up and then you can sit back down on the bed,’ she stood up and said, ‘No, no. I’m walking.’ I think she had something to prove to herself,” Foster recalled.

He said her goal for the next day was to walk to the walls of her hospital room. 

Delany texted that she has sent all of her horses to run under the Fosters’ guidance at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

A GoFundMe was set up to help Delany. As of Feb. 14, more than $29,000 has been raised with a goal of $100,000. 

Friend Brian Poppenberg, in an email earlier in the week, wrote that Darley is offering a breeding to Mystic Guide  , who stands for $12,500, with all of the proceeds going towards the fund benefitting Delany’s recovery. 

Meanwhile, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association will also provide aid through benefits that Delany has as a member but also via a contribution that is yet to be determined by the HBPA’s medical benefit board of trustees. 

Louisiana HBPA executive director Ed Fenasci told BloodHorse last week that in addition to the medical trust, the organization will undertake fundraising efforts to help.

Delany has a career record of 280-279-225 from 1,948 starts and has earned $4,616,596. Her winningest trainee is Queeten, who earned $225,385 under her care.

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