Assistant trainer and exercise rider Jerson Tejeda is one of the nicest individuals in the stable area at Canterbury Park. Jerson also happens to be an exceptional horseman.
Last month, during training hours, Jerson was on a horse he was preparing to gallop when suddenly he saw another horse flip over. That horse was 3-year-old colt Crocodilehunter, bred and owned by Pete Mattson and trainer Tim Padilla.
Crocodilehunter had lodged himself under the outside rail. Jerson instantly jumped off his horse to make sure the colt didn’t try to extricate himself from under the rail, which could have caused serious injury.
Jerson stayed by the side of Crocodilehunter, keeping him calm until the track crew could get there to remove the rail. Jerson calmed Crocodilehunter so much that he actually started munching on grass as he lay on the ground.
Crocodilehunter was eventually dislodged from his precarious position without a single scratch.
For this action, Jerson Tejeda is being presented with the Minnesota HBPA Special Merit Award during a winner’s circle presentation following the second race Wednesday.