The Brock Talk

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Assistant Starter Dies

Former jockey David Fowler-Wright (photo at right) was fatally injured in a starting gate accident at the San Joaquin County Fair on Sunday.

The 47-year-old native of England was working as a rake man and had just raked tracks after the start of the seventh race, a 1 1/16-mile race. He was standing on the gate as a tractor began to pull it out of the way of the field when he either slipped or attempted to jump off the moving gate and was run over by the gate's rear tires, track officials said.

The accident did not affect the running of the race, and officials said many in the crowd were unaware of the accident.

Fair officials, Stockton police, and representatives of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health are investigating the incident.

Fowler-Wright's U.S. riding career began in 2002, and he retired from riding in 2007 with 43 victories from 463 U.S. mounts. He recorded four stakes victories. Fowler-Wright rode primarily in Oregon and the Northern California fair circuit. He lived in Humboldt County in Northern California.

A moment of silence was scheduled to be held prior to Wednesday's racing. A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the backstretch near the racing office.

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