Local News
10:46 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Horse Dies in Freak Accident at Churchill Downs; Trainer Blames Sound System

A racehorse has died at Churchill Downs in a freakish accident that the trainer is blaming on the sound of a starting gate bell blaring on the track's new sound system.

Trainer Kenneth Wirth says the 5-year-old mare Never Tell Lynda was walking toward the paddock on the dirt track 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 new HD video board, the world's largest. 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.

Track officials say they are gathering details about what they call an extremely rare and heartbreaking accident.