01/24/2008 1:00AM

Four yearlings die after being hit by car


Four yearlings from Lane's End's Oak Tree division in Lexington, Ky., have died after being struck by a car early Thursday morning.

The yearlings were part of a group of six who spooked and got away from their grooms at about 7 a.m. while being led from a pasture to a barn. They ran down nearby Mt. Horeb Pike, where four of them were hit on the road by an oncoming Crown Victoria driven by a 21-year-old man.

Lane's End's president, Bill Farish, who is based at Lane's End's main property in Versailles, Ky., said that two of the yearlings might have been killed in the initial impact and that at least two had been euthanized because of their injuries. He declined to identify the yearlings' sires and dams.

The driver, Andrew Jackson, was taken to the University of Kentucky hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to police officer Jim Fightmaster, who responded to the accident.

"It was extremely tough on our team that works there," Farish said of the accident. "They're all horse people through and through, and you hate to be on the end of the shank when something like that happens. We try to eliminate all the ways for the horses to hurt themselves that we can, but they spook, and you hope when they do they're in an enclosed space where they can't get hurt. In this case, it was just one of those things."