Groom Ken Dooley dies in accident at Kempton
Tributes were paid yesterday to the groom who died at Kempton Park on Saturday night, with Ken Dooley described as "hugely enthusiastic and dedicated to his horses" by trainer Amanda Perrett.
Dooley, aged in his 50s, suffered fatal injuries following an incident in the stable yard prior to race seven at the venue.
Perrett, who employed Dooley at her base in West Sussex, said: "Ken had been with us for seven years and was a very special member of our close-knit family business.
"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."
Surrey Police said an investigation is under way into the incident that prompted Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford to abandon the fixture with two races on the card remaining.
Jockey Martin Dwyer is closely attached to the Perrett yard and was in action at Kempton.
He said: "Unfortunately, horses do kick out and I believe that's 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 very rare. It is very sad."
Former champion jockey AP McCoy tweeted: "Sincere condolences to his family friends & colleagues rip Ken Dooley."
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.