by Doug McCoy
Racing was cancelled at Delaware Park after the running of the fourth race Tuesday in the aftermath of an incident in the paddock that injured valet William Hollick.
Hollick, a former rider, was knocked unconscious after he was struck by a horse he was attempting to help saddle in one of the paddock stalls prior to the running of the fourth race. The horses for that race were put on the race track, and the race was completed. But, according to multiple sources, Hollick still had not been removed from the paddock and transported for further medical attention by the time the valets returned to the jockeys’ room with the riders’ tack following the race.
The delay in attending to Hollick and transporting him to Christiana Care Medical Center, which is located just across Delaware Route 4 from the rear entrance to the track, upset the valets and some jockeys to such an extent that they refused to work the rest of the program.
Following discussions with the parties involved, Delaware Park’s director of racing John Mooney made the decision to cancel the final four races on the program.
“My understanding was that our EMT people were on the scene in a timely fashion. However a number of valets and some jockeys felt it took too long to get Mr. Hollick attended to, loaded and transported,” Mooney stated. “They were pretty emotional and refused to work the rest of the program so we had no choice but to cancel.”
Even though Delaware Park has multiple ambulances on the grounds, sources said that an outside EMT crew from Mill Creek Fire and Rescue transported the valet to Christiana Care Medical Center. Initial reports from sources at the medical facility indicate Hollick suffered a concussion, a lacerated ear and a broken collarbone.
Mooney said the track will continue to review the incident and that plans are to resume racing tomorrow.