Jamieson Reflects On MacDonald's Selfless Act

Published: June 2, 2011 10:30 am EDT

With some chillingly honest remarks, O'Brien Award winning driver Jody Jamieson has gone on the record regarding the recent accident at Mohawk Racetrack which resulted in Mark MacDonald going to hospital and Jamieson seeing his life flash before his eyes


After his mount, If I Didnt Care, stumbled and fell to the track on Thursday, May 26, Jamieson found himself staring down at a horse which could've potentially taken his life. The horse, Dancers Cam, was driven by fellow O'Brien Award winner Mark MacDonald, who, given the circumstances, had to make an unbelievable decision: run over a friend or take the worst of a terrible situation.

MacDonald opted for the latter and would soon find himself catapulted into the air and down onto the punishing Mohawk course.

Jamieson told Dave Briggs in his most recent column in the Guelph Mercury that it was MacDonald's split-second decision which spared him from serious harm. “Mark missed me totally or he would have [broken] my back or killed me or who knows what would have happened?”

Jamieson went on to say, “He catapulted himself in the air,” and when he later visited MacDonald in the hospital he told him, "‘If you would have just run me over, you would have been better off.’" MacDonald responded by saying, "‘Yeah, I know, but how could I do that?’"

MacDonald, who through no fault of his own is no stranger to serious, life-altering racing accidents, was released from hospital on Monday, May 30, less than one week after being knocked unconscious for minutes due to the spill. MacDonald suffered a dislocated shoulder, a broken nose, four breaks to his jaw, a loss of teeth, cuts, bruises and damage to his arm and wrist.

Although Jamieson escaped a similar fate, he told Briggs that initially it was not easy to hop right back into the swing of things.

“I don’t like saying this," said Jamieson, "because any time I’ve ever come back and anytime anyone has come back from an injury, the first thing they want to do is prove to everybody that they’re not timid, they’re not nervous, they’re not afraid out there. But, I’m not going to lie to you, I had a tough time in the first few races on Friday night putting myself in the race." He went on to say, “I’ve never felt like that on the racetrack ever in my life.”

(With files from the Guelph Mercury)

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MacDonald Released from Hospital
Update On MacDonald; Accident At Mohawk



I am very surprised that of all the Drivers at the WEG, not one made a comment on the way the horse fell down on Thursday May 26, race 10. I have watched the replays at least 10 times and from where the poor horse was at the start after the break, at least ten lenghts behind the last horse and where the driver wanted to be by the end of the race would have required either a miracle or wings or both. The horse is only three years old with 6 life time races and was asked to run like a "free for all". The race went in 152.3 with the winning horse going wire to wire. I have been watching and betting horses for 47 years and I do know a little bit of what I a talking about. An accident is what happened to John Campbell last week. The accident at Mohawk was controllable, there are ten drivers in most races at Mohawk with Judges from the ORC & WEG and nobody saw what really happened, very sad day for racing. To all the other drivers at the Weg, I hope You guys like following the leader! There should have been an inquire and some suspentions made in that race, not feel sorry for the driver that didn't get hurt. Mr Johnson is the only other person that say the race as it was and had enough courage to speak His mind. Racefan and maybe Mr ex fan

Mr Johnston, Me as a prime example I need every dollar I can get out of a race so that I can be in that next race. This isn't like hockey where you can sign a 17-year 15 million dollar contract and have every dime paid out till the end.

Mr. Johnson, who said anything about anyones "#1 priority" to begin with, I said that they are all out there to win. This is a sport, just like any other only a little more dangerous and these guys and myself as a trainer know that.

Just a FYI To Mr. Guthrie , I did have money bet on Jody's horse...When it broke leaving I knew my money was gone so please do not be trying to put words in my mouth.
As for the fact that Jody's number one priority is to make money makes me laugh...Jody's and every other driver on race tracks PRIORITY should be THE SAFETY OF HIMSELF, OTHER DRIVERS AND THE HORSES. You can't make money for yourself or the Bettor if your horse falls down , or you run into another horse or you do something that the Judges will D.Q. you for.
If Mark ran over Jody and Jody got paralyzed or killed I am sure everybody would have been asking the same question I did.
If this happened with a no name driver on a 99 to 1 shot , would your reaction be the same ?
There is always another race to make money. You can't make money if you can't drive. Jody was very lucky this time and I think he realizes that and he appreciates what Mark did.

Class act Jody for recognizing what mark did and making your feelings public. As for Mr. Johnson's comment, these drivers are out there to win. I'm sure he is one of those people that if Jody hadn't driven to win, he would be the first to criticize him for not trying. It blows me away, some of the comments made by some people on here.Again, great show of class Jody for recognizing what Mark did.

Well Mr Johnson in my eyes Jody did the Only thing that he should have done try to Make Money! in No Matter of the Form is Jody at fault for this it happens horse takes a Bad step and Goes down! Jody did what I myself in that situation would have done The horse had it in him so why not give it a fair Chance! Glad Your Okay Jody! and Glad that Mark is Okay as Well Things could have been a lot Worse! I have tremendous Respect For someone who Would Basically throw themselves in front of a Car in this case Take the Blunt of an Accident To save a friend!! and I for one growing Up Idolized Both Jody and Mark and still do!

I am not a horseman and have never sat behind a horse, so admittedly I am not qualified to make a legitimate comment in regards to the soundness of a horse. However Jody comes from a family who has a very good reputation in dealing with horses. He has been around them his whole life. I would have to think that Jody would never ever consider jeopardizing his or any fellow drivers or even the horses life simply to win a race. I have too much respect for Jody to believe that. As a fan of horse racing for over 35 years I have watched many horses break and come back and win. I have watched many horses race while putting in steps and complete the race with no problem. I remember a particular horse trotter named Out of Ketchup who would always be jumping around in the post parade and then be all business on the track.

While I can see and understand why Mr. Johnston feels the way he does I simply have to trust that Jody had no reason to suspect the horse would take a tumble. As I said I don't believe he would take such an enormous risk simply to win a race when he already wins so many of them. The horse was 1-5 and not that it matters whether he was 1-5 or 99-1 but perhaps Jody felt that he owed all the bettors who wagered such a large amount of money on the horse a fair race and felt the horse was sound enough to win. It could be the fact that the horse broke earlier had nothing to do with the horse taking a stumble. As I say I am no horse expert so I will not judge.

I will leave that to people more qualified then myself.

I watched this race over a few times myself and I know my comment will cause a stink but I can't believe that Jody even tried to win a race with a horse that broke leaving and was taking bad steps and trying to fall on its head the whole race. I feel he never should have tried to win the race with a horse that was not safe to drive. To me when he gave the horse its head that was reason it finally went down and Mark paid the price. I am sorry but that's the way it looked to me.

Jody should definitely thank his lucky stars that Mark chose to take the brunt of the accident.
Thank you Georg Leber for your comment with regards to Mark and on how Dancers Cam is recouping.

Marie Stoyles-Moura

The Selfless Act by Mark Macdonald was really hard for me to watch not only for the concern of the drivers but because I am the owner of Dancers Cam. I support that Mark made the right decision and I was very sorry to see he suffered the injuries that he did. He took a bullet for Jody Jamieson and I applaud his courage. The horrific accident could have been much worse.

Dancers Cam is recovering from a gaping wound to her chest, we think happened when she was impaled on the sulky. Our staff is doing a great job and although she is stiff and sore, we hope she will make a full recovery.

I look forward to watching both Mark and Dancer racing when they have fully recovered.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

There are many summer nights my family and I spend parked on a picnic bench right by the wire. many times we have spoken to Mark following a win and he has always had the time to chat and has ALWAYS shown himself to be humble and classy. It is heartbreaking to see such an injury occur to this fine young man; but, his actions were really heroic that night insofar as he put himself in a situation that would cause him certain severe harm and injury to save a fellow competitor. We wish Mark a speedy recovery and look forward to speaking to him in the winner's circle soon. He truly is a winner in more ways than one!

I watched the accident over and over on the replay through HPI. I kept stopping and freezing the race at the point where Jody's horse goes down and Jody goes flying across the track. It is very fortunate given that the accident occurred during the part of the race where the horses are asked for the most speed they can give that the outcome was not worse. This is certainly not to in any way trivilaize what happened to mark. The one thought that kept running through my mind as I watched the replay was that had it not been for the drivers of the other horses and especially Mark's quick thinking and subsequent selfless reaction the results could've been much worse. I am happy for Jody that he escaped serious injury. Of the current drivers he is one of my favourites. Having said that I would've wished no harm to any of the other drivers either.
I feel bad for Mark and what happened to him and I hope he can take some solace in the fact that his quick thinking and reflexes may have prevented very serious injury to a fellow driver, or possibly a tragedy.
Mark, I hope you are better real soon and back on the track.

Jody, given what you went through I am sure nobody would ever fault you (or any driver/jockey) for feeling a little timid upon getting back in the sulky. It's human.

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