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Late jockey Mark Villa had solid career

Jockey Mark Villa was remembered by friends and colleagues in the horse racing business as a solid person and a good rider.

Villa 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 race.

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."

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