04/19/2012 4:30PM

One horse dead in South Carolina truck-car crash


One horse died and five others suffered what are believed to be only superficial cuts as a result of an accident involving an equine transportation truck and a car Wednesday night in South Carolina. The six horses were being transported from the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida to Fair Hill, Md.

Two van drivers and an unspecified number of grooms were reported to be in good shape, according to Bill Terrill, the president of Ebert Transportation, the company whose truck was involved in the accident.

Orange County, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Anne Paulson and who ran once for trainer Barclay Tagg at Gulfstream, had to be euthanized as a result of injuries suffered in the accident. Paulson said Orange County was going to Fair Hill for a vacation and was going to be looked after by Kelly Rubley, who recently left Tagg’s employment to take a job as an assistant to trainer Jimmy Toner.

Toner is the trainer of the other five horses – all owned by AJ Suited Racing Stable – that suffered cuts. The horses were taken to Edisto Equine Clinic in Yonges Island, S.C. Justin Nicholson, the racing manager for AJ Suited, said that tentatively the horses were scheduled to leave South Carolina on Friday and be vanned to Fair Hill. Nicholson, who would not identify the horses, said that one may be kept for further observation.

According to Terrill, the roads were slick and a car cut in front of the Ebert van, prompting the driver to hit the brakes, which in turn resulted in the tractor trailer turning over

Nicholson confirmed that the top of the truck had to be cut open to remove the horses.

A van that had left Palm Meadows earlier in the day transported a handful of Toner-trained horses to New York, including his Grade 1-winning turf filly Winter Memories, who was bedded down in her stall at Belmont Park early Thursday morning.

“My first reaction when I got the call was “Oh, no, not her,” Toner said Thursday from south Florida. “It was bad enough that something happened at all.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the Grade 1-winning turf filly trained by Jimmy Toner who was vanned to New York. The filly is Winter Memories, not Memories of Silver.


R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
Luckily no one were seriously injured,according to the report, but those poor horses, I can imagine what they went through, this experience will affect them for the rest of their life, even after the injuries heal, horses never forget something like that and will not want to get in a van or even in the starting gate at the race track, if they manage to get them in, every time the van star to move or shake they will panic, the same with the starting gate.It will take a long time an lots of patience with the people that handle them.
Cheryl Yeoman More than 1 year ago
In a previous article,it sounded as though it was the van drivers fault ! I'm glad to have have seen your more accurate account of the accident .I have ridden in the back of the van with the horses on many occasions and have witnessed what happens when careless drivers pull in front of the van. To avoid running over the car ,the driver has all he can do to stop or swerve around them!! Car drivers need to realize the danger of doing this!!The van alone weighs thousands of pounds,then add at least 1200lbs for each horse plus the grooms,equipment,driver-it is impossible to stop quickly and the results are evidenced in this accident.As bad as it is ,it could have been much worse !Drivers need to learn they cannot do this-I hope this driver will never forget what he did and how many people and animals he may have caused permanent damage to.