Jockey Mark Villa was remembered by friends and colleagues in the horse racing business as a solid person and a good rider.
was killed at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., on Saturday when his horse fell
and he was struck by another horse. Villa suffered fatal injuries when
his horse, Separate Money, fell after the finish line of the seventh
Villa tried to stand up after the initial fall and was
then struck by the other horse. He was pronounced dead shortly after
arriving at a hospital. It was the first jockey death at the track
since it began races in 2005.
"Mark was a good sportsman and he
had a lot of class," trainer Carlos Sedillo said. "He won a lot of
races for me and every time I needed him, he was always there. Even if
you took him off a horse, he always came back to the barn and asked if
we needed anything. That meant a lot to me. It's sad to see him go."