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Author Topic: Bad accident at Harrington race 1  (Read 8433 times)
pursesaredropping
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« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2006, 12:03:04 PM »

Its very sad

My prayers are with all the families
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DLeestable
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« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2006, 12:48:27 PM »

Been out of town and this is the first place I go to catch up on all the "news".  I am so shocked to hear about Hal Belote. Terrible terrible news.  I know some of the family and I can't even imagine how bad they feel.

I think it would be a super act if all the harness tracks in America would lower their flags out of respect for losing a dedicated horseman who loved the sport so much that he lost his life doing it.
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emp
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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2006, 01:14:04 PM »

Please send cards and best wishes to the family of Harold 'Hal ' Belote in their time of need:
   
Hal Belote Stables
216 Three Bridge Rd
Monroeville, NJ 08343-1877
(856) 358-4141
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Tannor
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« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2006, 04:14:12 PM »

Just turned on Harrington video and they are having a memorial presentation of some sorts.

Tannor
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They're at the gate!!!!
Buffaloboy
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« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2006, 08:08:24 PM »

I asked Emp to send me the link to the tape of the accident yesterday and I watched it very early this morning. Until then I thought the worst harness accidents I ever saw were the accident that killed Billy Haughton and old film of an accident at Roosevelt from 1963 where six horses went down.

After seeing the film this morning, I am not ashamed to admit that some things do make grown men cry. I didnt watch the film because I like wrecks. I wanted to see it because so many times we see races where you get an accident or a single horse falls and afterwards we shake our heads and ask, "How did nobody get hurt?", or "How were the injuries not worse?"

Sadly this is one time where we shake our heads asking, "How could he have died"? More sadl is you see the entire thing on tape, see everything that happened and you still ask. "How?" because there is no good answer other then the horse fell.

There is no need to rehash the tape. If people want to see it, they can. If you choose to watch it, please keep in mind that once it starts, you are watchjing the last 60 seconds or so of a man's life and quite possibly watching two others who may have their lives changed forever because of what happened. Plrease keep them in your thoughts and in your prayers as you watch it.

That said, there are three things that caught my eye in the aftermath.

One was the other drivers. They all saw what happened. You could see Wolfenden looking back and over the entire rest of the way. You could almost tell he knew it was real bad but the lead drivers who did finish all talked and did well to avoid further problems.

Two. I checked the USTA site when I can home tonight. I dont know what they had shown during the morning and afternoon but on the day after a tragedy, couldnt they have had a tribute to Belote as their feature story or even just maybe his picture ? I mean Stephane Bouchard is a good driver with a nice milestone approaching but couldnt they just dedicate it to Belote?

Three and excuse my ignorance on the subject because I am not a horsemen but isnt there some kind of fund, set up either by imdividua; tracks, states or nationally which would help families at a time like this? if not. how does one get started?
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Tannor
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« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2006, 08:33:59 PM »

If he had the Van Gundy insurace for horsemen then his family will have however much he signed up for.

I to watched the video and it looked like maybe he was trapped underneath the horses. Ive had a fellow horseman tell me a story of him being caught beneath the horses. It was not a story that I want to share.

Tannor
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They're at the gate!!!!
vcackerman
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« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2006, 09:29:50 PM »

Not  to diminish the deceased, but what were the injuries of the other two?  and the horses involved?
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Buffaloboy
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« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2006, 10:54:27 PM »

VC,

According to The Harness Edge, Steve Warrington has facial cuts and torn knee ligaments, Brandon Givens had a compound leg fracture and Brad Hanners was hospitalized with unknown injuries that are believed to not be serious.

Sam Belote (Hal's brother) drove in four races, winning the 14th race tonight.
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When will Barn To Wire finally do the right thing and ban Clockerterry & Edwarren for their continued lies, anti-American & anti-semetic statements and their general disrutpive stupidity? 

“The answer to a government that’s too big is to stop feeding its growth.” - President Ronald W. Reagan
MC
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« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2006, 01:03:25 AM »


   It sure looks as if his horse just jumped a shadow and then tripped.
I give the track credit for having class enough to close. Lead driver
Wolfenden knew what happened and bad, he was stunned the rest
of the race looking back. I wish his family the best in this hard time.
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emp
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« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2006, 09:05:10 PM »


Death shakes drivers
Screams pour from grandstand after accident

By MIKE FINNEY and JACK IRELAND
The News Journal

05/17/2006

HARRINGTON -- It was a sound like nothing Dr. Jay Baldwin had ever heard before at a harness racing track.

Usually, he said, when there is a crash in a harness race, the crowd grows silent and all that is heard is the booming voice of the public address announcer.

However, from inside the paddock at Harrington Raceway on Monday night, all that Baldwin heard during the middle of the first race just after 5:30 p.m. were shrill screams pouring down from the grandstand.
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Baldwin, the track veterinarian, immediately knew something was wrong.

His worst fears were realized just moments later when he arrived on the scene to help paramedics tend to driver Hal Belote, whose horse Atenothnbutdscootr stumbled and fell in the second turn, just after the half-mile mark.

Drivers Steve Warrington and Brandon Givens were right behind Belote at the time of the fall and could not avoid him.

"Hal's horse just went down, and the next thing I knew, I was tumbling over top of all the rest," Givens said. "Horses were spiraling all around me and I was able to crawl away a little bit. I knew right away my leg was broken. I looked toward Hal and Steve, but they both seemed to be unconscious. Neither one said anything. It seemed like it took the ambulance five to 10 minutes to get out there.

"I was screaming and cussing and could feel the pain in my leg."

Belote, 51, was pronounced dead at Milford Memorial Hospital, becoming the first driver to be killed at a harness racing facility in Delaware.

Givens and Warrington were listed in good condition, a spokesperson for Christiana Hospital said Tuesday afternoon.

"I was following Hal, and his horse made a bad step," Warrington said. "Hal hollered 'look out' and he went down within two seconds. I just couldn't have pulled my horse up that fast, but I saw it all happen in front of me."

Warrington said he was concerned about the horse Belote was driving.

"As we got into the turn, I looked at his horse and thought he just doesn't seem to be stepping right," Warrington said. "I was thinking, 'I'll keep an eye on him and maybe if it continues, I'll get out three wide.' I wish I had done that. I just never got the chance. I feel really bad about losing Hal."

Belote was in the lead on the outside as four rows of horses ran side-by-side off the second turn on Monday. That was when Atenothnbutdscootr stumbled and sent the driver onto the track near the outside rail.

Warrington and Givens, tucked right behind Belote's sulky, could not slow down. They both suffered leg injures in the crash.

Givens, a 19-year-old graduate of Seaford High, said he underwent two hours of surgery on Monday night to repair a compound fracture in his right leg.

"I will have pins in my leg for eight weeks and will have a cast put on after that," Givens said. "Of course, I will return to racing."

Givens was driving Build a Fire, a horse trained by his uncle, Charlie Tribbett. Givens said he was sitting last in the eight-horse field on the outside with Belote's horse in front of him.

Belote, of Williamstown, N.J., had won 1,986 races in his career. He earned his first career victory at Harrington in 1977 and eventually became one of the most respected drivers and trainers in the paddock.

Belote came from a family of harness racers. His father, John, died in November at age 74. His brother, Sammy, is also a harness driver and trainer who lives in the Harrington area.

"Actually, I knew Hal as good as I knew everybody else," said Givens. "The older horsemen are like uncles and the young like cousins. [Belote] always wanted to talk about baseball and sports with me. He liked to talk about pitching and how well his son was doing. Hal was a real nice man."

Hugh Gallagher, the administrator for the Delaware Harness Racing Commission, said nothing could have been done to prevent the tragedy. He said all of the drivers involved had on the proper safety helmets and were wearing safety vests.

"It was just a freak -- and unfortunate -- accident," Gallagher said. "Track security did a good job of keeping all of the horsemen away from the accident scene and the track emergency crews did everything they could.

"It was just a bad step at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Gallagher did say that Monday's accident will prompt the commission to review safety procedures at Delaware race tracks.

Gallagher noted that the accident happened in the second turn -- on the opposite side of track from the paddock area. He suggested that one issue to be studied is where emergency response units should be positioned.

Gallagher estimated that emergency responders at Harrington were at the scene on Monday in about three minutes.

Delaware State Police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham said police were investigating the incident as an industrial accident.

Meanwhile, drivers took their horses back onto the track at Harrington Raceway again on Tuesday night, but there was an obvious void.

"It's the worst. I've known Hal most of my life and that makes it real bad," said Warrington. "To all of us who have trained and driven against him, Hal was the most underrated horsemen on the circuit. Everybody liked his dry humor and his smile. I've seen a lot worse accidents and nobody gets hurt. You just never know.

Contact Mike Finney at 734-7945 or mfinney@delawareonline.com
Contact Jack Ireland at 324-2808 or jireland@delawareonline.com

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060517/SPORTS/605170356/1002/SPORTS
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emp
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« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2006, 09:18:07 PM »


The News Journal/GARY EMEIGH
Drivers, trainers, owners and friends of Hal Belote observe a moment of silence before the first race at Harrington on Tuesday.


The News Journal/GARY EMEIGH
Flags flew at half staff Tuesday at Harrington Raceway to pay tribute to driver Hal Belote.

Harrington honors Hal Belote
Brother races day after driver's death

By MIKE FINNEY
The News Journal

05/17/2006

HARRINGTON -- There was something in the air that drew Sammy Belote to the stables at Harrington Raceway on Tuesday.

The harness driver was able to find a little bit of solace in the smell of the hay and comfort in the neighing of the horses.

It was Belote's way of getting closer to his younger brother, Hal Belote, who was killed in an accident during a harness race at Harrington Raceway on Monday night.

But Sammy Belote did not stop there. He raced at Harrington on Tuesday night, because that is what the Belote family has always done. He won the 14th race and had two third-place finishes.

"My father [John Belote] passed away in November, and it's been our lives," Belote said. "We raced through that, both me and Hal.

"It's our job to race these things, just like if somebody works 9 to 5 ... or 8 to 4. This is our job, this is what we choose to do in our life and this is a labor of love."

The track honored Hal Belote before Tuesday night's card with a moment of silence before reading off a biography about the driver. The flags were at half staff around the track and there were misty eyes in the paddock.

"He was a great guy, just a happy guy, a good driver, a good horseman," said Kay Gannon, who trained several horses for Belote. "I've known him for 25 years and he drove for me everywhere.

"It's dangerous, but you never expect that to happen."

Sammy Belote had just arrived at Harrington Raceway on Monday evening when he realized something was not right.

"When I got up outside of the paddock -- it had to be 20 minutes after the race -- people were still standing around," he said. "I had that sixth sense, that feeling that it wasn't good.

"I talked to him [Monday] afternoon. He was excited. He was going to claim a horse, and his horses were starting to race a little better. He was going through a little downside, but he was getting some new horses in."

The news of Hal Belote's death shook the racing community at Harrington. It was the first fatality ever at a Delaware harness racing facility.

"The speeds we go nowadays, and this being a smaller race track [a half-mile], things like this can happen," Sammy Belote said. "We race hard here. We race for good money and we race hard. I just had a bad feeling."

Sammy Belote said it took longer for his younger brother to take an interest in harness racing, but once he got the fever after serving in the Marines, he was hooked.

"He wasn't totally crazy about it like I was," he said. "Then he drove a couple of qualifiers and he said that adrenaline rush just sealed it. He went on and pursued it and made himself into something. He was self-made.

"He beat the road and worked hard. He made a lot of decent race horses out of nothing. He didn't have people coming at him with millions of dollars and buy him high-priced horses; they were rejects and horses he pieced together. I am so proud of him."

The races went on at Harrington Tuesday night, but the drivers still remembered their fallen partner.

They also might have thought just a little bit more about safety.

"We've never had anything like this around here," said driver Eddie Davis. "This sport's not like car racing. You don't have a cage built around you. You're sitting right out there in the open.

"You don't have any seat belts or anything like that. It's far more dangerous than people realize it is."

All of which makes the sport a double-edged sword for the drivers, says Gannon.

"They can't think about the dangers before they race," Gannon said. "If they thought that way, then they couldn't do their job. They have to concentrate on winning."

Contact Mike Finney at 734-7945 or mfinney@delawareonline.com.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060517/SPORTS/605170355/1002/SPORTS
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MC
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« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2006, 11:19:48 PM »


    Thanks emp for always keeping this site updated!
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