Jockey Villa Dead After Zia Park Accident

Jockey Mark Villa was killed at Zia Park Sept. 25 after his horse fell.

Jockey Mark Anthony Villa suffered fatal injuries Sept. 25 after his horse, Separate Money, fell after the finish line of the seventh race at Zia Park in New Mexico.

Zia Park officials said that after falling to the ground, Villa attempted to stand up and was struck by a following horse. Separate Money finished second in the 400-yard Quarter Horse event, a trial for the Hobbs Futurity.

Villa was taken from the racetrack to a local medical center but was pronounced dead shortly after, Zia Park officials said.

Racing was canceled after the eighth race on the Zia Park card.

Villa was fourth in the jockey standings at Zia Park with five wins in 35 starts through Sept. 25. He rode at many tracks in the Southwest during his career.

Villa, who has a wife, Krystal, and twin children Olivia and Garrett, won his first race in 1983. He won 1,726 races, and his mounts, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse, earned $17.3 million.

Villa was the second-leading Thoroughbred rider at the 2010 Ruidoso Downs meet in New Mexico.