Va. couple file suit over racing incident at Charles Town

By Cara Bailey | Jul 18, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Virginia couple who races horses at Charles Town Races and Slots has filed a suit against the racetrack and fellow riders after a competing horse clipped heels with their horse, causing the horse to fall and the jockey to be injured.

Shannon and Lance Campbell filed the suit July 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court against 16 defendants, seeking compensation for their injuries and trouble they incurred.

According to the suit, Shannon Campbell was an apprentice jockey licensed to race thoroughbred horses in West Virginia. Campbell was riding the horse "Makin Violets" in the first race at Charles Town Races and Slots on July 9, 2005.

Alejandro Estrada, a defendant in the case, was riding a horse named "Just A Farm Girl" in the same race. "Just A Farm Girl" is owned by Amy Hartman and trained by Christopher Keller, both defendants in the case.

Campbell claims, "Estrada and his horse 'came over' into (Campbell's) path and 'clipped heels'" with "Makin Violets," causing the horse to fall with great force, the suit says. Because of the fall, Campbell suffered serious permanent injuries.

Shannon and Lance Campbell claim Estrada had a duty to ride his horse in a manner that would not impede or interfere with the other horses. They claim Estrada had very poor eyesight and it was not safe for him to ride as a thoroughbred jockey.

The suit also says Estrada has been disqualified on numerous occasions for riding misconduct and has been unofficially banned from racing at a racetrack in Maryland.

In the 16-count lawsuit, Shannon and Lance Campbell seek judgment against the defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Tony O'Dell is representing the Campbells. The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1348

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