Previous jockey James Lopez died Aug. 8 in San Antonio, Texas, from complications of gall bladder surgical treatment and other health and fitness difficulties, according to his mother, Bonnie Lopez. He was 43.
The San Antonio native grew up on the Louisiana and Kentucky racing circuits in which his father, Joe R. Lopez, plied his trade as a jockey. His grandfather, Santos Lopez, was also a Quarter Horse jockey and afterwards a coach.
James Lopez began galloping horses at 12, and then at 16, towards his father’s wishes, quit college and took out his jockey’s license. He rode his to start with winner in 1995 at Retama Park.
As with several jockeys, injuries sidelined him at instances. In March 2005 at Turfway Park, Lopez shattered a collarbone when a horse fell on him leaving the gate. The injuries pressured Lopez out of the saddle, and in the course of his time away, he worked building scaffolding for oil rigs and laying ceramic tile. He also made use of the time to examine for the General Educational Development test and attained his significant school equivalency diploma. He returned to riding in 2007 at Ellis Park and received with his initial mount back.
Around his occupation, Lopez won riding titles at Oaklawn Park, Louisiana Downs, and Turfway and notched four graded stakes victories, the very last of which was the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) on Normal Quarters at Tampa Bay Downs in 2009.
His job as a jockey ended in October 2011, acquiring ridden to victory 1,077 situations from 9,434 Thoroughbred mounts. His horses produced more than $21.7 million.
Next his using profession, he took up artwork and at times spoke to a team of other athletes and persons encountering the effects of head accidents, one of the numerous issues he professional from a career on horseback.
“It can be incredibly challenging for jockeys to acknowledge to obtaining some type of brain injury,” reported Bonnie Lopez. “They’d alternatively deal with it on their personal.”
In new years, Lopez galloped horses for trainers Tom Proctor and Tommy Drury. He performed a position in Art Collector ‘s preparations last summertime when the colt received the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and Runhappy Ellis Park Derby for Drury and owner/breeder Bruce Lunsford.
“I never know 1 man or woman that would not have a form tale to tell about James. He had a heart of gold,” Drury reported. “I basically browse this on line, that somebody reported he had a type soul, and I would undoubtedly concur with that. That was James to a T. He wore his coronary heart on his sleeve, just an all-all around excellent male. It’s like losing a loved ones member, in my scenario, much more like a minor brother. It really is been shocking, and I am nonetheless getting the words to even chat about it.”
He is survived by his mom his father, Joe a brother, Jeffrey step-brothers, John and Joe and a son, James Aaron.
He also leaves driving many shut friends, including Savannah Henry.
He will be cremated, his mom stated. Other arrangements are pending.