John Shear, a World War II veteran, a jockey and a track steward is only just now getting the recognition he deserves for saving a five-year old girl from being trampled by a run-away horse at Santa Anita.
When Sea and Sage bolted from the paddock area, Shear realized that the girl was right in the horse’s path. In the split second that he had to act, he threw himself in front of the panicked horse and took the full impact of the collision.
“There is a five-year-old girl. I’m 90 years old. She hasn’t had a life,” Shears has said in interviews. “I have had a life. You got to save that life.”
Shear suffered multiple pelvic fractures, a broken femur, a fractured cheekbone and cuts on his face and arm. He spent several weeks in the hospital and then it took seven months before he had recovered enough to return to his job at Santa Anita — fit again, and strong at age 92.
Shear was recently re-united with the girl that he saved from being trampled.
What a hero!