Five Thoroughbreds en route from Palm Meadows training center in Florida to Fair Hill in Maryland were being treated at Edisto Equine Clinic in Yonges Island, S.C., after a van carrying them overturned on Interstate 95 at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening 10 miles south of Walterboro. A sixth horse in the van had to be euthanized.
The van was one of two that left Palm Meadows Wednesday morning, according to Jimmy Toner, who trains all but one of the horses involved. Toner said he was still trying to determine the identify of the horse that died. The horses were owned by AJ Suited Racing, according to a post on the stable's Facebook page.
Not travelling on the van that jackknifed and overturned was Phillips Racing Partnership's Grade 1-winning mare Winter Memories, who left Palm Meadows at 6 a.m. and arrived at Belmont Park. “She is safe and sound,” a relieved Toner told the Paulick Report Thursday morning. The van that crashed left at 11 a.m., Toner said.
The driver of the van that overturned and two grooms traveling with the horses did not suffer serious injuries, Toner said, though he said it was his understanding one of the grooms required stitches at a local hospital. The van was owned by Ebert Vans, Inc., of Elmont, N.Y.
Toner, who was leaving Florida for New York on Thursday, said none of the surviving horses – to the best of his knowledge – were said to have serious injuries. “Some were cut up and needed stitches,” he said.
“The van was on its side and they had to cut the roof off to get the horses out,” said Toner.
The accident occurred during a rainstorm and may have been caused when a car ahead of the horse van suddenly stopped. The van went off the shoulder of the road, jackknifed, and overturned, according to reports.
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