A Tragic Day

The early morning freshness of a new day of thoroughbred racing that is the norm here at Woodbine Racetrack was shattered today after the tragic death of one of the racetrack’s exercise rider/outriders following a collision between horses.

Flags flew at half mast, and the eight-race card cancelled, after 43-year-old Darren Fortune succumbed to injuries suffered in the early morning incident on the track.

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Fortune, original from Barbados, exercised horses in the morning for trainers, and in the afternoon racing schedule, guided horses and protected jockeys as they travelled to the starting gates.

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When a jockey loses their mount, or if a horse is spooked and bolts, the outrider is there to sprint into action and corral the loose horse, as this one did a few years ago, below.

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Racing is scheduled to return Saturday at the Toronto racetrack, with a ceremony honoring the fallen rider planned after the seventh race.

 

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