US work rider dies after being crushed by racehorse

  • A 60-year-old work rider in Florida has died after a racehorse fell on top of him.

    Robert Shields was exercising three-year-old gelding Gael Lea on Monday (1 February) at Tampa Bay Downs racetrack when the horse was spooked.

    The horse reared and fell back, crushing Mr Shields. He was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital but was pronounced dead.

    Mr Shields lived at the racecourse, where he worked as a groom, handler and jockey.

    The horse was unhurt.

    Gael Lea’s breeder, Joanna Reisler told local press: “He was a very good horse, very kind. It’s a very unfortunate accident. This has nothing to do with the horse and nothing to do with the professionals who care for him.”

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