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Cullipher sidelined at HoP

May 10, 2004

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Roger Cullipher is scheduled to be released Monday (May 10) from an Anderson, Ind. hospital following an accident at Hoosier Park Wednesday, May 5. The 46-year-old horseman was thrown from his mount, SD Poignant in the third race on the program. He suffered a broken collarbone, seven broken ribs and a punctured lung in the accident, and will be out for the remainder of the Hoosier Park meet.

The Calvert City, Ky. native lined up behind the gate in the 10th post, a second tier position. He was following Top Secret Viking and driver Joe Putnam as the field approached the start. According to Putnam, his horse took a bad step about 30 feet from the start and instantly dropped. Putnam was unseated, but avoided serious injury.

"A lot of horses run and give you warning. My horse just dropped," Putnam explained. "That's the worst place for a horse to have problems. Everyone is accelerating."

Putnam said that he thinks SD Poignant hit his race bike and unseated Cullipher. While he escaped injury, he was not unscathed.

"The bike hit me across the head," he said, showing the scrapes in his helmet. "It hit so hard it threw my glasses 30 feet. I was lucky, very lucky."

Cullipher's son, Jeff, saw the accident while watching the simulcast at Lexington. He has relocated to Hoosier Park for the remainder of the meet to help train and drive the stable of 25. He provided an update of his father's condition.

"He was taken out of intensive care Friday, and he ate his first meal then," Jeff Cullipher said. "He can't talk; it hurts him to breathe. But he's getting a lot better every day."
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