Stalls handler dies after suffering serious injuries at Haydock

Updated: 

A member of staff has died after suffering serious injuries in an incident before a race at Haydock.

Stalls handler Stephen Yarborough was involved in an accident with the starting stalls before the running of the fourth race on Friday, which was scheduled for 3.30pm.

Mr Yarborough was team leader at the Merseyside course.

His employers RaceTech said in a statement: "Following a tragic accident today our dear friend and colleague Stephen Yarborough sadly passed away following serious injuries incurred in his role of team leader of the starting stalls at Haydock Park Racecourse."

John Bozza, chief executive at RaceTech, expressed his shock and sympathy, saying: "Our thoughts are very much with Stephen's family, close friends and his colleagues at this very sad time.

"Stephen was an experienced and popular member of the team; he will be hugely missed by everyone. We are doing all we can to support Stephen's family and the investigation at this stage."

Mr Yarborough had been flown to Whiston Hospital by air ambulance and admitted to intensive care.

The remainder of the meeting was abandoned, with the police arriving at the scene.

The stewards held an inquiry, at which they interviewed the race starters and clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright, who represented the Racecourse Executive.

Mr Tellwright informed the stewards the executive had taken the decision to abandon the rest of Friday's card as "the police had been informed of the accident and were due to arrive at the track to conduct their inquiries".

A stalls handler is a member of a team employed to load horses into the stalls for flat races and to move the stalls to the correct position for the start of each race.