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A groom has died after apparently being kicked by a horse in the stabling during a race meeting at Kempton racecourse in England.

Trainer Amanda Perrett confirmed Ken Dooley, who was in his 50s, worked for her stable and she paid tribute to him as a dedicated horseman.

Dooley was found seriously injured in the stable yard before the seventh race on Saturday night.

“It is with huge sadness that I can confirm we lost our friend and colleague Ken Dooley after an incident in the stable yard at Kempton last night,” Perrett said.

“Ken had been with us for seven years and was a very special member of our close-knit family business at Coombelands.

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

“He was always first into work in the morning, hugely enthusiastic and dedicated to his horses and a very much valued and integral member of our team.

“I would like to thank my staff, Brian Clifford, the stable and racecourse staff at Kempton, Hugo Palmer’s travelling head lad, Dr Lucy Free and the ambulance service who we so quickly there to help Ken.”

Surrey Police said an investigation was under way into the incident that prompted Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford to abandon the final two races.

A police spokesperson said the death was being treated as unexplained.

Jockey Martin Dwyer is closely attached to the Perrett yard and was at Kempton.

“Unfortunately, horses do kick out and I believe that’s what happened,” he told Racing UK.

“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 very rare. It is very sad.”

Dooley’s death comes four months after stalls handler Stephen Yarborough died at Haydock when he was run over by mobile starting stalls before a race.

 
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