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Rider dead after being thrown from horse at Keeneland

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 11:06 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A young woman is dead after she was thrown from a horse at Keeneland.

According to a press release, it happened shortly after 8 Friday morning.

Keeneland officials say 20-year-old Callie Witt, an exercise rider for trainer Joe Sharp, died after she was thrown from a horse on the Keeneland training track.

“Joe Sharp describes it as a freak and tragic accident that the horse the young lady was on, was spooked somewhat, fish-tailed, catapulted her in the air. Apparently, she struck a railing or a vertical post, concrete. Injuries were such that she died shortly thereafter,” said Marty McGee, a writer with Daily Racing Form.

Sharp tells us it was a two-year-old unraced horse.

Callie Witt
Callie Witt(Jamie Martinez Photography)

The track’s on-site medical team worked to treat Witt’s injuries and she was transported to UK Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“We are heartbroken by this tragic loss,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to Callie’s family, friends and our collective racing community at this difficult time.”

Friday was the final day of racing at the Spring Meet. During several of the later races, one of Witt’s ponies was used as a tribute horse.

Witt, a native of Nebraska, was studying at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Keeneland officials say she wanted to be a jockey, first working as an intern and then full-time as an exercise rider.

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