Jockeys, trainers and racegoers pay their tributes to stable hand Ken Dooley who died in shocking accident at Kempton


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JOCKEYS, trainers and racegoers paid their own tribute to stable hand Ken Dooley who died in a shocking accident at Kempton.

The riders wore black armbands at Goodwood and Chepstow on a sombre and reflective day for the sport, with both tracks also holding a minute’s silence before yesterday’s racing.

 The incident took place at Kempton racecourse

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The incident took place at Kempton racecourse

It is the second time the close-knit racing family has come together in the space of four months to mourn the death of a racing professional at a track.

Stalls handler Stephen Yarborough was killed in another freak accident when he was run over as the stalls were moved at Haydock in July.

 Ken Dooley was an integral part of the team at Perrett's yard


Ken Dooley was an integral part of the team at Perrett’s yard

Police are investigating Saturday night’s incident at Kempton in which Dooley, in his late 50s, is said to have died after being kicked by a horse.

He had worked for West Sussex trainer Amanda Perrett for seven years. She paid her own personal tribute to hugely popular Dooley in a statement.

Perrett said: “It is with huge sadness I can confirm we lost our friend and colleague Ken Dooley after an incident in the stable yard.

“Ken had been with us for seven years and was a very special, integral and valued member of our team.

“He was very experienced with racehorses having worked all his life with them as a jockey, trainer and jockey coach around the world.

 Perrett paid her own personal tribute to Ken Dooley


Perrett paid her own personal tribute to Ken Dooley

“He was always first in to work in the morning, hugely enthusiastic and dedicated to his horses.

“I would like to thank my staff as well as those at Kempton, Hugo Palmer’s head lad, Dr Lucy Free and the ambulance service who were so quickly there to help Ken. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

 A police investigation is ongoing at Kempton

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A police investigation is ongoing at Kempton

A police investigation is under way into the incident which prompted the track to abandon the rest of their meeting before the second-last race.

A Surrey police spokeserson said: “We were called to Kempton following a report of a sudden death around 9.20pm.

“A man in his 50s was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is being treated as unexplained and inquiries continue.”

Nick Rust, of racing’s governing body the BHA, said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone in racing when I say we’re truly devastated about the events which unfolded at Kempton.

“Our sympathies go to the family, friends and colleagues of the individual who lost his life.”

Steve Parlett, Kempton general manager, said: “All the team here are shocked and upset by the sad loss. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are very much with his family, friends and colleagues.”

The National Trainers Federation said: “This is a tragedy which touches all in racing. Mercifully, fatal accidents in the course of caring for racehorses are rare and we acknowledge and salute the commitment of stable employees across the country.”

Jockey Martin Dwyer, who was riding at Kempton and is closely attached to Amanda Perrett’s yard, has revealed his shock and sadness at the incident in which Ken Dooley lost his life.

 Martin Dwyer worked closely with Ken Dooley at Perrett's yard

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Martin Dwyer worked closely with Ken Dooley at Perrett’s yard

Dwyer said: “There was a very sombre mood and nobody really knew what was going on, and then we found out.

“As I was leaving the course there were blue lights everywhere and it was a shock.

“Unfortunately, horses do kick out and I believe that is what happened. They have metal shoes on and if you get a kick from a horse it can be very serious.

“Horses don’t mean to do it. If they feel someone is too close or something they do kick out, but fortunately it is rare. It is very shocking and very sad.”

Bradley Lowery becomes honorary Grand National jockey for the day

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