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Returning From The Brink

Published: February 28, 2017 1:14 pm ET

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The life of trainer Don Pleterski was forever changed last June at Fort Erie Race Track. He was almost killed after a 1,000-pound Thoroughbred flipped over a rail and crushed him. The road back has been daunting to say the least, but, as an in-depth profile piece explains, Pleterski is the man for the challenge.

Many of the horrified onlookers figured that Pleterski, 65, was not going to make if after the incident at the border oval. Without time to spare, the veteran conditioner was rushed across the border to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York.

Pleterski suffered fractures to his neck, back, ribs, shoulder, jaw and a laundry list of breaks to bones in his face and head, which was crushed. Both of his lungs had collapsed. To this day he has no memory of the incident or the eight weeks which followed thereafter.

Award-winning racing writer Beverley Smith has penned a tremendous follow-up story which chronicles the magnitude of Pleterski’s injuries, which was only rivaled by the trainer’s unflinching determination to get over them.

“I was determined to get out of the wheelchair,” Pleterski told Smith. “And I managed to get out. It was actually pretty quick. The first part of the recovery went real quick for me, because I was determined to be independent.”

To read Smith’s article, click here.

(With files from the Paulick Report)

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