Ascot victim tried to run across course

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The Independent Online
A 21-year-old racegoer suffered multiple injuries at Royal Ascot yesterday after being trampled by a horse in the fifth race. James Florey, who is believed to have been drinking heavily, was last night in a stable condition at Wexham Park Hospital, in Slough.

Spectators at the scene of the accident, near the one-furlong pole, said that a group of three young men had decided to run across the track from the cheap course enclosure to the more expensive grandstand after the field in the Ribblesdale Stakes had passed by. Mr Florey, a student from Bracknell, was trampled by Papago, the mount of Michael Kinane, one of two stragglers at the rear of the nine-runner field.

'He came out from under the rail right in front of me,' Kinane said. 'We were 15 lengths behind the others and he was looking the other way. I think he thought the race was over. I went straight into him, and my horse turned over and landed on top of me.

Jill Warner, who was standing close to the furlong pole, said: 'There were three youngsters who were all really drunk. I heard one say 'I bet they've got cameras on us, because we tried to get across the course earlier on'. The one who went had a bottle of champagne in his hand, and a bottle of brandy in his pocket.'

Superintendent James Samson, responsible for policing the course, said: 'He was trying to run across the course and ran straight in front of a horse. As a result he suffered multiple injuries.'

Supt Samson refused to comment on reports that Mr Florey had attempted to cross the course earlier in the afternoon. The racecourse stewards, who held an inquiry into the incident, said that security at the track would be reviewed.

A friend who visited Mr Florey in hospital last night said: 'He does not know what happened. He is completely battered and bruised.'

Photographs: ITN

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