Horse dies in freak accident at Churchill Downs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Horse dies in freak accident at Churchill Downs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A horse died at Churchill Downs Thursday in a freak accident that the trainer is blaming on the track's new sound system.

Trainer Kenneth Wirth says the 5-year-old mare Never Tell Lynda was walking toward the paddock Thursday when she reared, twisted and fell, hitting her head.

Wirth says she was spooked by what he thought was the sound of a starting gate coming from a commercial on Churchill's Big Board, the world's largest 4K video board. The system includes 750 speakers.

Wirth says the mare was being schooled, meaning she was not entered in the race but was going through pre-race activities.

The track says it is gathering details about what it called an extremely rare and heartbreaking accident. Churchill Downs spokesperson Darren Rogers released the following statement to WDRB: 

The Churchill Downs Racetrack family is overcome and saddened by Never Tell Lynda’s tragic schooling accident Thursday afternoon. It’s heartbreaking, and we know how much these horses mean to the people who love and care for them. This was an extremely rare schooling accident and losing a competitor like Never Tell Lynda is never easy or acceptable. Our thoughts and prayers are with her connections, and we extend our deepest sympathy to trainer Kenny Wirth and everyone at the stable for their loss. We’re currently gathering facts and talking with people about what might have led to Never Tell Lynda’s accident on the way to the paddock prior to the first race. The health and safety of our human and equine athletes remains our highest priority.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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