Jury Awards $7.8 Mil. in Death of Jockey

, The Legal Intelligencer

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A Philadelphia jury awarded about $7.8 million, including $5 million in punitive damages, to the wife of a jockey who was killed when his horse bucked and trampled him after being spooked by a chicken at Parx Casino and Racetrack.

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  • I‘m sorry for the deceased and his family, but this result is idiocy. With 40 years experience with horses, I can say with confidence that horses shy and buck for all manner of reasons (including a tree that they‘ve seen in the same place for a year, including 20 times around the ring *that day* that all of a sudden becomes "horse eating"). People walking by are just as likely to scare a horse, and don‘t even get me started on "people putting on coats" and the Dread Umbrella. Anyone can be potentially be killed by an idiot horse at any time (and I say this as one that rides most days). There is no way that any area can be made "safe for horses". Now, if the issue had been dogs permitted to run loose *chasing* the horses, I could see an argument, but the mere presence of chickens? GMAB.

    I wonder whether the rider was wearing appropriate boots (the heel of the boot is supposed to prevent the foot from going throught the stirrup and getting caught--so you just hit the dirt and don‘t get dragged and kicked).

    Oh, and vdobill, chickens very happily lay eggs with or without roosters. (I have six hens.) I don‘t know why those folks kept chickens there, but they are usually not a problem around horses (most horses don‘t care). The fact that no chicken was mentioned in the incident report indicates to me it wasn‘t the chicken, it was the horse. And that is not the fault of the facility owner.

  • vdobill

    Our prayers for the injured parties aside, ipso facto non sequitir that there albeit not enough eggs being laid (too few roosters), too many eggs being laid and sold; chicken farm?, or, not enough roosters to take care of the problem of keeping the chickens in the hen house and especially away from the horses, more often; especially during hours horses are being exercised.
    Perhaps the jockeys should be required to sign a waiver regarding the coexistence of chicken farming on the exercising premises. Surely the precognition of the potential eventuality was presumed by both parties?

  • Charlie

    If the chickens were parading through Suburban Station disturbing train riders one might think some of this made sense. To claim that the chickens were allowed to live in and around barns - - - - wait a minute - - - - isn‘t that where horses, cows and chickens are supposed to live? ------- Suggests that Parx got screwed by a jury and judge.

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