Racing worker tries in vain to save groom

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A Newmarket racing worker has described how he tried to save the life of a groom believed to have been kicked in the head in the racecourse stables at Kempton Park on Saturday.

Pete McCulloch, who is travelling head lad for town trainer Hugo Palmer, found Ken Dooley, believed to have been in his 50s, lying on the ground having suffered what he believed was a kick in the face.

He then assisted doctors on the course by giving CPR to Mr Dooley who tragically died from his injuries before he could be taken to hospital.

“We had three runner and shortly after my last runner, Escobar in the 8.15pm race, I was going back to the stable yard to wash him down. As I went back to to my locker for a scraper around 8.25pm I noticed Ken laying down in the entrance to the stable yard.

“A member of the BHA security team was there as well and the first thing we did was clear his airway because he was almost choking. It was very apparent he’d had a serious blow to the face. It took a few minutes for medical attention to arrive and when it did BHA doctor Lucy Free and the on-course doctor instructed me to start CPR immediately.”

Mr Dooley had worked in West Sussex for Pulborough trainer Amanda Perrett for seven years and had a wealth of experience in racing.

Mr McCulloch who last year helped save his friend’s life when he suffered a heart attack on Brampton golf course and organised a white collar boxing event in Newmarket to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, added: “Ken was a regular figure at the races. I knew him to say hello to. I’m good friends with Amanda’s travelling head lad Allan McFarlane who was there as well.

“I have no idea how Ken managed to get to where we found him. It was pretty apparent he got kicked in the stable and somehow made it to where we found him. It was at least 100 yards.

"My condolences to his family and friends.”