Colorado: Jockey Dies As Result Of Injuries Suffered In Spill

by | 09.13.2017 | 6:46pm

Jockey Jesus Munoz died Wednesday from injuries sustained in a spill during the races Sept. 9 at the Kiowa County Fairgrounds in Kiowa County, Colorado.

KDVR FOX-31 reports that Munoz, 22, was thrown from his horse and suffered traumatic brain injuries. He was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center where he remained in a coma until his passing on Wednesday.

“From the impact, he went flying. He fell on the right side of his head and the impact was here and on his neck,” said Munoz's sister, Brianna Munoz.

According to KDVR, a GoFundMe page has been established to help the Munoz family with medical bills and funeral expenses, since he did not have health insurance.


  • Ned Daly


  • David Worley

    Racing which happened at an unsanctioned event at an unsanctioned track. Hickenlooper, wake up! You have to regulate these fair meets.

    • Lora Lowe

      riders that have a hard time making weight like these tracks unless you ride mind your own business ; regulated will not stop someone from getting hurt or killed

      • Blue Larkspur

        so you approve of the consequences … how sad

        • whirlaway

          Sadly I read an article in a Colorado publication which stated he has no insurance
          and he was able to ride because was a recipient Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and that is the reason he can compete professionally per the article
          but the video did not look like a professional situation for these riders, did not seem to show an ambulance right there at the track as a regular track following riders around although it showed leaving in an ambulance. So hopefully there is an ambulance on the ground as there is also a rodeo and injuries can occur doing that. Condolences to his family for their devasting loss.

          • kim

            Wow that’s a story that should be public

          • whirlaway

            I just thought I would search and I found a Colorado article with a video not of the accident but people dealing with it after it happened and no ambulance as we see at most tracks. Does not mean one was not on the grounds and it showed an ambulance leaving with him. He had a little son very young from some photos I saw
            very very sad.

          • Bobb

            I was at that fair and there was an ambulance right there as well as fire fighters. The EMTS where right there in a matter of seconds. The only problem I saw was that the family would not get out of the way so the emergency workers could do their jobs.
            Unless you where there you should keep your damn mouths shut

          • whirlaway

            That is why I said hopefully there was an ambulance as at most of these fairs that are relatively small in the towns near me there is an ambulance even though no racing as there are still plenty of people, families and activities of all kinds that an ambulance may be required, it is not
            as if I have never been to a fair both big and small. As with most people no need to be rude I said nothing argumentative in my query of an ambulance there. Thanks
            for you response and info it was I am sure a very upsetting experience for all in attendance and certainly for family members just unfortunately a very sad accident.
            There was a child killed in a horse accident at one of the town fairs in my state last
            fair season and those dealing with horses know this sadly happens. Recently there have been various accidents at fairs it certainly can happen anywhere.

      • kim

        Agree , had friends die at big time sanctioned tracks ,

        • David Worley

          Your argument doesn’t make coherent sense. It’s like saying that because you had a friend die in a car accident in which they were wearing a seat belt the idea that seat belts should be legally required is incorrect.

          • Raycing W

            Actually, legally requiring seat belts for adults is incorrect.

          • David Worley

            Wow. So lets just live in a libertarian state with zero regulations and zero regard for empirically verifiable improvements. On that ground then lets have zero oversight of racing too.

          • kim

            My point was it’s the most dangerous professional athlete , match racing , legal tracks , it happens all kinds of tracks .

          • David Worley

            Exactly, which is all the more reason exceptional precautions (sanctions) should be in place.

          • kim

            I’d love you to take that on,I’m
            More worried about drugging trainers running crippled horses causing these things

          • David Worley

            I agree. There was a piece on the local news in Denver (I think the PR posted it a while back) that had undercover video from an unsanctioned event similar to the one this jockey died at. There were dudes (I’m not even convinced they were Vets) openly administering medication or concoctions to horses. This is a disaster that gets repeated every summer Saturday somewhere in my state and it’s flippin’ ridiculous which has been my whole point on this for the whole strand.

            I also sent the governors office a professional email a few months ago and got blown off.

          • rosesette

            Seen that video the other day! Looks to me to be a gathering place for illegal everything . Just search for illegal horse racing,you will see this video! No regards for the horse or rider,hopping them to win the race and the bets involved!Another clip I caught,after the perps were done with some of the horses at a race meet,they just boarded them up in stalls on the grounds and left them. People were notified and went to investigate,only to hear nickers,especially one horse whose knee was shattered. A shame no respect or compassion for horses.Probably people too!!

          • Deplorable

            Rosette everything you reference happens at licensed racetracks including at famous and major ones, too. This stuff is wrong no matter where it takes place and the “licensed” racetrack advocates need to quit acting as if this appalling stuff happens only in the bushes or at unlicensed races. Not all that long ago 7 horses from the barn of one famous triple crown winning trainer dropped dead during training hours at a famous California track and they were found to have been “hopped” up on improperly prescribed thyroid medications.

          • Bobbi

            It was at a dang county fair, they have been doing this and having these races during the fair for over 100 years, thus is the first time I have ever seen anything like this happen and I have been attending the same Kiowa County fair since 1990 and now my kids enjoy it.
            Check your facts before you open your mouth.

          • Raycing W

            Wow David, maybe you should start lobbying that every one wears life jackets when swimming because people drown, and maybe a paramedic should be required at every food establishment because people choke on food, and maybe we should have a law that you can’t go outside during a rainstorm because people get struck by lightening and die. I could go on. It has nothing to do with a libertarian view point. Have you ever really thought deeply about why certain laws are in place? Have you really thought why there are seat belt laws? Do you really think our government cares about saving a few lives? Think deep here. If you think it is about saving lives, then you should be all for prohibition and totally banning tobacco. Why isn’t that done? Think deep and come up with the real reason.

          • kim

            We have free will

          • David Worley

            Raycing W, when you are willing to have the guts to post under your real name I’ll tell you what I’ve considered and not in terms of societal laws. But as long as you hide under a false name I owe you nothing.

            As for your ridiculous counter argument, and I mean truly ridiculous, you are erecting a straw man “life jackets when swimming,” “paramedic at a food est,” ect, because your point is wrong. Having unsanctioned quarter horses running 45 mph down a straight away with no oversight on how they were drugged, who is riding, where people are standing is something that needs oversight. This is clear.

            Hey, also, before you tell me to “think deeply” you might want to first consider whether you have a relevant point.

      • David Worley

        Did you just tell me to “mind my own business?”

        So the fact that there is no vet check of the horses before the race, no oversight to how the horses are drugged (and thus may be unsound), no ambulance on the premises, no qualified outriders handling possible accidents, no stewards oversight, and no accountability for surfaces, equipment, and personnel doesn’t bother you?

        • Melissa Noyes

          I’ve never been to ANY fair where there was not at least one ambulance there from open to close, daily!

          • David Worley

            Okay, so address the rest of the points.

          • Diane Repp

            Someone owns the piece of property. Money poured in from illegal gambling. I have no idea why anyone would support this.

          • Melann Johnston

            Ambulances are part of racing even at the big tracks. It’s part of the sport.

        • Lee wells

          Everyone there are well aware of the risks involved in horse racing at the fairs unfortunately accidents do happen but everyone there signed up to be there

          • billy


          • David Worley

            Right, and this event shouldn’t be sanctioned. Just like we have chosen (as a society) to not allow drag racing in the streets.

          • kim

            Yes they weren’t forced and why is that so hard to understand ?

      • Eric

        He rode at 122 in his final ride at a recognized racetrack (Arapahoe) in August. That’s light enough.

        I am sorry to hear about this accident.

  • Ida Lee

    OMG ….I don’t want to say rest in peace …. it’s just not right for a 22 year old …. my deepest condolences to his family …

  • Jbumi

    What a heart breaking story. My condolences & thoughts go out to all who knew & loved him. 😔 😢

  • santacruzchuck

    For anyone to get on the back of any horse without health insurance is extremely irresponsible.

    • Southwest Dude

      I trained and galloped my own for 30 years and our state run insurance monopoly would not cover me because they said I was an emplyer

    • kim

      Racetracks mostly if not all ( sanctioned) have health insurance from track because I had to
      Pay it when my horse ran

      • George Scottt

        Your right AJ

  • Melissa Noyes

    It’s sad so many jockeys have no insurance. I would hope the owners for whom he rode would kick in!

    • kim

      Going to sound bad to
      Most , but he chose that as a profession or job. Race car drivers etc. now I have a big complaint when a horse has no choice 😢

      • Lehane

        You have a heart the size of a pea.

        • kim

          Absolutely not ! I raced cars professionally , barrel race, racing go karts in two weeks , my point is we all that do it know it’s very dangerous , my heart bleeds for anyone who dies doing it, but that wasn’t what I said . I said it can happen and he chose to ride and I chose and choose to race . I feel for his family like you have no idea! I think about Sam Thompson every day, miss golfing with him etc, you don’t know me at all I was pointing out he chose to ride. Most people sit on the couch and cast opinions without getting involved

          • Lehane

            Just for the record, i’ve been involved in racing all my life. One jockey died riding one of our racehorses and we were devastated. My late father did a thorough investigation, the results of which found that our horse shouldn’t have been passed fit to race – we had been kept in the dark by the trainer and his vet. Every jockey knows how dangerous it is and sometimes they contribute to that with their reckless riding, racing tight, clipping heels. However, no jockey should be riding a horse that is not suitable to race, his life and that of the horse should be the primary consideration. I’m staggered that these unregulated races are allowed to be conducted. No way would this be allowed in Australia, the racing industry would be onto the politicians/government before you could blink and it would immediately be shut down.

          • kim

            So happy you took the time to look into it! If we had more owners like you holding trainers accountable , these horrific deaths would go way down. I’ll go one further… some trainers have a higher rate of horses breaking down , tracks etc . Good for you, you made my day! Most owners put their head in the sand when this happens

    • Ranger7

      Most jockeys are independent contractors, not employees of owners or barns. But, I do agree that all should be covered, whether through a group plan or subsidized by other racing interests. The well known and successful jockeys can afford coverage. Most young jockeys and jockeys at lower level tracks are not as fortunate.

  • Manefan

    What happened to the horse or horses involved? What caused the accident? Condolences to family.

    • Lehane

      Exactly, what caused this tragedy? Why did this young bloke lose his life? Did the horse he was riding break down, or, did another horse break down causing his horse to come down?

      • Manefan

        If this was unregulated racing, as one poster mentioned, I suppose the details are not something of interest to the participants.

        • Lehane

          As David Worley pointed out – no vet checks. That leaves me speechless.

      • Bobbi

        The horse was acting a little irritated while they where walking them around the track before that specific race, he barely got out the gate when the accident happened. The owner and team should not have allowed the horse to run this race they should have used a different one.

  • OopsyDaisy3

    This is very sad news. My condolences to his family. Such a young man at 22 who had
    his whole life ahead of him. Prayers for his family. Linda

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