Track's Loud Sound System Killed My Horse: Trainer
Mare got startled by commercial at Churchill Downs, he says
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2014 12:47 PM CDT
A new video screen is seen at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

(Newser) – A 5-year-old mare died in a freak fall at Churchill Downs yesterday, and its trainer blames the track's massive new sound system, reports AP. Kenny Wirth says the horse, Never Tell Lynda, was being led to the paddock before the day's first race when a commercial began blaring over the 750-speaker sound system. That commercial just happened to feature the sound of a starting gate bell, and the horse reacted accordingly.

"We teach horses to break from that," says Wirth. "And you've got it on a loud speaker that everybody in a two-city block can hear. Well, what's she going to do? She thinks she's supposed to take off. And that's what she did. And when she did, she lunged and she lost her balance and went down." An official with Kentucky's horse racing commission says it has received similar complaints about the $12 million video board, which got put into place before this year's Kentucky Derby, and raised them with track management after the accident. "They're aware of it," she tells USA Today. "They're going to try to correct it immediately." A spokesman for Churchill Downs says the track is still "gathering facts" about the incident.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
May 23, 2014 4:52 PM CDT
A-wipes at this track. This was the premier track in the country until recently. It's bad enough they destroyed its looks with their new luxury section now they run commercials on a huge screen with megawatts in sound. And it blocks your view. They can GTH. I'm never going there again.
May 23, 2014 4:07 PM CDT
A Dingo ate moy buaaaby.
May 23, 2014 3:15 PM CDT
They were warned about the problem and chose to do nothing about it. That should go against them as they get sued into bankruptcy and it would serve them right.