AN ASPIRING 19-year-old jockey died 'instantly' after two horses collided in a horrific training ground accident.
Work rider Daniel Quintero's horse bolted the wrong way round Tampa Bay Downs racecourse in Florida on Saturday morning.
His mount collided into another running the opposite way and the impact of the smash was said to have killed Quintero instantly.
The two horses and the other jockey involved in the terrible collision were miraculously said to be unhurt.
A touching moment of silence was held in Quintero's honour by jockeys and valets at the track later on Saturday.
Other racecourses including Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park and Santa Anita also had moments of silence.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Office spokesperson Marco Villarreal said police were notified on an incident at 7am local time.
He confirmed a man was pronounced dead at the scene, report the Racing Post.
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Jockeys and those working in racing were quick to pay tribute to Venezuelan-born Quintero.
Fellow pony rider Sydney Fried said: "I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face and he was always trying to put a smile on yours.
"He was willing and wanted to learn, and the last thing he was was lazy. You don't get better unless you put in the work and Daniel wasn't afraid to do just that.
"It's very sad because he would be one of the first ones to say 'good morning' every day.
"It is going to be rough for all of us that had the pleasure of knowing Daniel."
In 2010 another male died at the same racetrack when a horse reared up and fell on him.
This is the second tragic death to hit US racing in as many weeks.
The sport was plunged into mourning following the passing of 23-year-old Avery Whisman.
His sister Emma told bloodhorse.com: "He had the biggest heart. He wanted everyone to know they were loved and cherished by him.
"We are not ashamed of what happened. We hope this tragedy can help someone else.
"We never want anyone to go through the pain we are suffering."
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