Updated on 06/26/2014 8:13AM

Exercise rider dies at Woodbine

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – An exercise rider died in a freak accident at Woodbine early Tuesday morning.

Mourad Boudraa, a 41-year-old native of Morocco, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics after sustaining massive head injuries when the horse he was riding crashed into a fence in the sand ring, a quarter-mile track used for light training. The horse, Tawney’s Wish, a maiden 3-year-old filly trained by Don Pleterski, died from an apparent heart attack.

An investigation is ongoing, and both the coroner and representatives from the Ministry of Labor were on scene after the accident.

"We are working closely with officials to support them in their investigation," said Jamie Martin, executive vice president of racing for Woodbine Entertainment Group. "Our hearts and sympathies go out to Mourad Boudraa's loved ones in this sad and very difficult time."

Martin said Tawney’s Wish was sent to the University of Guelph for a necropsy, which is an examination of the body.