08/27/2008 12:00AM

Runaway horse hurts children


A young girl sustained a broken arm and two other children had minor injuries after a horse in Tuesday's first race jumped the outside rail and crashed into a shed at Pinnacle Race Course, jockey agent Jeff Franklin said. All three children were treated at a local hospital and released.

Vanessa, Jesus, and Belse Romero - the children of Alfredo Romero, who gallops horses for trainer Charlie Williams - were with their mother, Veronica, in a lean-to that serves as the clocker's stand and is along the outside rail, just before the five-furlong pole.

Willstep, a 9-year-old gelding, stumbled leaving the gate and threw his rider, Wilkin Ortiz. The horse recovered, jumped the outer rail, then ran into the side of the shed. The collision knocked the shed onto the children, who were trapped momentarily under the wood and the weight of the horse, who was quickly caught by bystanders. Ortiz was uninjured and returned to win the next race.