Ann Fitzpatrick

I interviewed Ann Fitzpatrick back when this website started. It was time to find out what Ann has been up to since then so I emailed her and here is what she said:

FOTH: Tell us a little bit about what you have been up too since the intervew we did with you was published?

AF: Wow! hehe lots! I had a bad spill at Pimlico in 2003 that cost me a total of 10 months, on closing day of the meet. I needed 3 surgeries on my elbow and shoulder, last spring (04) I went to Canada to work for Justin Nixon (Stronach horses) for 2 months to get fit before I moved to Oklahoma last summer ('04) to ride at Remington Park. I had an awesome meet there, the meet starts up again here soon for summer '05 and I can't wait! Right now I'm riding at Fair Meadows Tulsa.

FOTH: I know you had a pretty bad injury. What happened?

AF: On closing day at Pimlico '03 in the 10'th race I clipped heels in the turn and went down, ended up needing 3 surgeries on my shoulder and elbow, I broke my elbow into the joint and had 2 pins and wiring in there, and I severely separated (level 3-the worst you can have) my shoulder blade from my collar bone, I completely tore my AC tendon in half, and needed a screw in there. 6 months later I came back, but then a few months after that I needed another surgery and 4 months after that I was riding again. So it cost me a total of 10 months.

FOTH: How was it riding at Remington? Was there a big difference between riding there and in Maryland?

AF: I absolutely LOVE Remington Park! People are so friendly and welcoming here. Of course, it is a lot different than Maryland, and I miss my friends and family, and riding with some of the best riders in the world there, but I still visit often and try to keep in touch.

FOTH: I know you won some stake races at Remington? How was that feeling for you?

AF: He he I remember shaking my head pulling up because I couldn't believe it. My big mare (Racing Sundown) for some reason really tries hard for me, she's an awesome horse, she's 6 this year and she feels better than ever!

FOTH: I known you have your own website. What is the url and what can we find there?

AF: Yes actually I do, it's still under construction, it's there's all sorts of stuff from info on me, my animals, horses for sale, my riding, where I'm riding currently, news and updates, questions and answers, shout outs, all sorts of stuff that I thought might be pretty neat for someone just scrolling the internet and bored.

FOTH: Do you feel you have improved a lot as a rider since leaving Maryland? Was it hard leaving Maryland and why did you go to Remington?

AF: I chose Remington because I always wanted to live out in the OK/AR area. My boyfriend Vernon Scantling is from Arkansas, and I'd visited him a lot while I wasn't riding due to my spill, and I loved it here. So I decided to try it, and I'm so glad I did. I absolutely LOVE it here, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I think even when I'm done riding I'd like to make a life here. I've really noticed lately that I think I've drastically improved. Other people including Vernon have noticed it as well, I'm finishing a lot stronger, have a lot more patience, and hitting a lot better. I was really down on myself and my riding in Maryland so it really wasn't hard to leave. Sometimes I miss it, but really, I love OK a lot more. I feel a lot more sense of belonging here.

FOTH: Describe a bit about Remington as far as the track goes and is there anything to do out there?

AF: You mean besides cow tippin'?!? Just kidding. Anyway, Remington, quite frankly to my shock when I got here, is absolutely GORGEOUS, and only going to get better since we're getting slots. The track is somewhat fast and speed bias, and the Turf is INCREDIBLE, Beautiful course, you can't feel it underneath you. It's like a magic carpet ride. It's a mile track and a 7/8 turf. We have a pretty neat 1 1/16 mile turf chute too. We're really close to the city, and only 3 hrs from Dallas, so there's lots to do.

FOTH: With the recent injury to Shannon Campbell, any thoughts of not riding anymore?

AF: That's just terrible, I knew Shannon and rode with her a little bit in MD and WV...I wish her the best of luck and pray deeply for her to recover somehow. However it doesn't change my perspective on riding. The way I see it is that God has our book written, and if it's meant to happen o me, it'll happen whether it's riding or driving a car. Hopefully it wont though. As far as spills, they say when you get in the game it's not "if" it's "when and how bad"

FOTH: What do you think can be done to make it safer and better for riders at race tracks?

AF: For Charlestown I think they need a better horses and a better surface, so many horses break down there it's unreal and sad. For race tracks in general, I think the drug rules and pre-vet checks maybe should be looked into a little more. Too many bad horses get by the vet and allowed to run. As far as clipping heels and what not, unfortunately there's really nothing that can be done about that.

FOTH: Are there many female riders at Remington or are you the only one?

AF: The main ones are Me, Nena Matz, Tonya Arruda, and towards the end of the meet Cindy Noll, and then a few more girls that ride now and then

FOTH: I asked this before, but I'll ask again, how long would you like to ride for?

AF: I'm actually trying to get into OSU (OK State) and start taking classes, so we'll see, hopefully for a while longer though, I absolutely love it.

FOTH: Where do you see the sport of thoroughbred racing headed to in the future?

AF: Unfortunately I think even for the tracks with slots, that's just temporary relief, I'm afraid to say it but I feel as though racing needs to somehow get the public more involved in the sport, or else sooner or later the sport is going to be history, and that's so terrible to think about.

FOTH: Any plans on ever riding again in Maryland?

AF: I'll ride a few here and then when I'm in town for Nancy like I usually do, as far as moving back to ride, more than likely no.

FOTH: Any last words?

AF: Keep up the great work the site looks fantastic and it's only getting better! Remember....break fast and ride hard!