I feel so sad over his news. My grandfather owned half of T.C. and I thought of Jeff often, even though I never met him. Now that I have kids of my own I am even more amazed at what Wayne Lukas accomplished with the horse in the aftermath. It's just such a sad story and now he is dead at 58.
If you haven't read this, and I had not, it is incredibly sad. When you read between the lines, it is pretty obvious that Jeff Lukas' life was really changed, in an incredibly challenging way, by the accident.
Thank Goodness for the man who stepped in to help- we need more like him in the world.
I recall Jeff fondly on the backstretch of Saratoga. He used to ride a Quarter Horse in a beautiful western saddle and pony some of his horses to the track. He was the equivalent of the "Chief Operating Officer" of his father's stable, he kept everything running smoothly. RIP Jeff.
"I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
as a thoroughbred horse."
I always thought it was a shame he could not have found a place in the TB industry like pedigree matching, pinhooking, breeding a few mares and selling the foals. A huge number of people who work in the industry and/or own horses never see a horse, much less touch one. He seemed to be well enough he could have taken care of a pleasure horse or two and the exercise, both riding and cleaning would have been good for him and his balance. It might have helped his mental state too. He made such an amazing recovery and still had such an incredible memory and mind for horse statistics, it is a shame that could not have been utilized in some way. Many people suffer accidents, injuries, illnesses that require them to give up their old lives and forge new ones, it just seems odd that nobody saw the benefits in having just a riding horse or even a couple of pasture pets.
Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.
Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.
I don't think he wanted to get 'away from it all'.
According to email I got from Old Friends today, Lucas' family has requested donations to Old Friends in lieu of flowers.
I suspect the love of the TB was still there, just not practical for Jeff's lifestyle after the accident.
I saw a special on Jeff, not that long ago, it just wasn't physically safe for him to work around horses after the accident. They tried to get him involved at the track post accident and he just couldn't react quick enough to stay safe.
Not sure about the breeding aspect - perhaps he was better equipped to do tasks that were more repetitious.
Perhaps but his house was like a horse racing museum which is a bit "odd if you want to get away from it all."
I didn't realize, as I haven't been to his house for awhile . Actually, I think I remember what you are saying from the documentary. Maybe he wanted a new start and to put some distance between himself and the people who remember the old Jeff? Just an idea, as each person has varying ways to look at/cope with things. I guess he chose what worked best for him.
Last edited by beaujolais; Apr. 1, 2016 at 05:10 PM.