Keeneland cyclist dies after training accident

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A practice rider has died after being thrown from a horse at the Keeneland practice track.

Callie Witt, 20, died Friday morning after being ejected from an unraced 2-year-old filly, Keeneland spokeswoman Amy Gregory confirmed to The Associated Press. Keeneland vice president of equine safety, Stuart Brown, said Witt was taken down after the horse changed stride during a routine canter. Witt landed on the indoor synthetic material of the runway.

Medical personnel on site immediately attended to Witt for life-threatening injuries before Lexington Fire and Emergency arrived within 6 minutes and rushed her to the emergency department at the University of Kentucky Hospital, according to a press release from Keeneland. Witt was later pronounced dead from blunt force injuries.

Originally from Nebraska, Witt was an aspiring jockey who worked nearly a year for trainer Joe Sharp. She had attended Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington and was about to graduate from the North American Racing Academy.

“She had made great strides towards her goals and had an unparalleled work ethic,” Sharp said in a statement. “She was unique… you don’t see many in her generation with that level of courage and determination. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. »

Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said the track was “heartbroken by this tragic loss” and expressed prayers for Witt’s family, friends and racing community.

Brown said the horse was assessed and showed no signs of health or injury.

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