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Runaway horse tramples trainer at Fort Erie Racetrack

A 66-year-old horse trainer from Toronto was critically injured Sunday when he was trampled by a horse at the Fort Erie Racetrack, according to the Niagara Regional Police Service.

The horse was being escorted on the track for a race shortly before 5 p.m. when the animal became skittish and broke free of its handler, police said. The horse panicked, smashed through barriers and, in the process, knocked the trainer to the ground, causing what were described as life-threatening injuries. The trainer, who has not yet been identified was initially treated by Niagara Emergency Medical Services paramedics before being transported to Erie County Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition Monday.

Larry Goldberg, a racetrack worker, said he did not witness the incident in which the trainer was trampled by the horse, but did see the aftermath.

“I saw the horse laying there,” Goldberg said.

“Apparently, what happened is the horse shied. Walking out to the racetrack, there’s a path and (the horse) shied and he tried to jump the fence into the grandstand,” Goldberg added.

As the horse was being led to the racetrack, Goldberg said the trainer also would have been accompanied by a groomer and the jockey riding the horse.

Goldberg said the incident occurred right before the final race of the day.

According to the racetrack’s website, the horse also suffered injuries and had to be euthanized.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com