Six Thoroughbreds that were traveling by van from Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida to Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland April 18 were involved in an accident along Interstate 95 in Colleton County, S.C.
Jimmy Toner is the trainer of the horses, five of which are owned by the private partnership group AJ Suited Racing.
According to a report from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, one of the six horses on board had to be euthanized due to the extent of its injuries. Toner told The Blood-Horse he was still figuring out details about the situation and could not reveal the identity of any of the horses.
The accident occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m. near mile marker 43, between exits 42 (Yemassee) and exit 53 (Walterboro).
The driver of the van, owned by Ebert Vans of Elmont, N.Y., veered off the roadway onto the right shoulder of the road, causing the vehicle to overturn and come to a rest in an embankment.
According to traffic reports from AccidentOn95.com, fire and rescue crews worked for three hours trying to free the six horses trapped in the trailer. The five horses that were saved were brought to Edisto Equine Clinic in Yonges Island, S.C., where they are being treated for various injuries.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, one of the two men inside the trailer suffered serious injuries and was taken to Colleton Medical Center. The accident is under investigation.
“We’re still getting reports back from the van company, the hospital, and the clinic,” said Toner, adding that Kip Elser of Kirkwood Stables is on his way to the clinic to assess the situation.
AJ Suited Racing Stable published the following statement on its Facebook page the morning of April 19:
“Since word is out at this point about the accident involving the van transporting several of our horses to Fair Hill last night, just want to report at this point it appears the five that we had on board have various levels of cuts and scratches according to preliminary reports. Four of them are apparently in condition to be released in near future, one still to be determined. At this point, I think we have to feel very fortunate.”