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Jockey Helping Change A Life


Published: July 20, 2010 1:11 pm ET

Last Comment: July 20, 2010 5:38 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Many say that it is the little things in life which tend to have the most impact. Horsepeople will agree that sometimes minor adjustments will do wonders for a horse. In the case of thoroughbred jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva and his biggest fan, Alexandrea Tersigni, a little time, class, and caring is changing a life.

An article by The Globe and Mail this week has shed some light on the impact small amounts of da Silva's time has had with 17-year-old Tersigni, who, after having been born premature, has dealt with cerebral palsy, seizures, learning difficulties, circulatory problems, Tourette’s syndrome, lupus and anxiety.

The Globe article -- and a video by LongRun, embedded below -- explain how in an attempt to pull their daughter from socially withdrawing from life, Alexandrea's parents, Enzo and Rose, took the teenager to Woodbine Racetrack three years ago.

For some reason, when Alexandrea saw da Silva's name in the program, it was a game changer.

“She was very shy, and then she would walk away very fast,” the jockey said of their earliest meetings. “Then I talked to her a little bit. I said, ‘Alexandrea, you be a very happy girl, because all the horses are very happy and they want to see you happy, too.’”

As The Globe article explains, Alexandrea now attends the track almost every Wednesday and Sunday, where she greets da Silva after every race, win or lose.

As the relationship has progressed, Ms. Tersigni has watched her daughter’s determination grow. With da Silva’s encouragement, she tackles school projects with extra vigour, and has overcome a trepidation around horses to attend a riding camp.

To read The Globe and Mail article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from The Globe and Mail)

July 20, 2010 - 5:38 pmGreat story. I saw the two

Dawn Lupul SAID...

Great story. I saw the two of them together right after Eurico won the Queen's Plate and he was walking back to the jock's room. Alexandrea was crying and she gave him a big hug. Eurico had just won the biggest race of his life and met the Queen, but I think this moment was the most special of his day.

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