02/02/2010 12:00AM

Tampa exercise rider dies


Robert Shields, an exercise rider at Tampa Bay Downs, died from injuries suffered in an accident at the track on Monday morning. Shields was 60 years old.

According to track officials, Shields was aboard a 3-year-old gelding named Gael Lea who suddenly reared up and fell on him while in the gap area preparing to enter the racetrack for a routine gallop. Gael Lea has never started.

According to Margo Flynn, vice president of marketing and publicity at Tampa Bay Downs, no further details have been made available by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office.

Monday was a dark day at Tampa Bay Downs.