Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund Hosts Event To Benefit Paralyzed Exercise Rider

The Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund (MHAF) in conjunction with The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association will be presenting a special fundraiser at The Corner Stable Columbia on Thursday, October 17 from 6-9 p.m. to benefit a special fund created for longtime exercise rider Jose Villegas who was recently seriously injured during a morning training session at Laurel Park.

The Corner Stable Columbia, owned by longtime thoroughbred owner Charles ‘Chip’ Reed, has graciously offered to donate 15 percent of all gross receipts from 6-9 p.m. that evening for the fund, designed to assist Villegas since his untimely injury. Villegas, who spent over 20 years in Maryland as a conditioner for trainer Dickie Small, was about to breeze a two-year-old colt for another trainer when the horse stumbled and tossed Villegas.

The 43-year-old, father of two from Hampstead is currently in stable condition at Kernan Hospital in Baltimore County. Villegas has full use of his upper body, however he remains paralyzed below the waist as the result of the spill.

"Jose is in very good spirits,” commented MHAF’s Executive Director Robert Lillis, who recently visited Villegas. "In fact, from talking with him you would never know he was injured as bad as he is. Jose has always been a humble person.”

In addition to the Baltimore area’s finest ribs and crabcakes for sale, there will also be a silent auction of racing memorabilia and a 50/50 raffle along with celebrity karaoke. Among the additions to the auction is the ever popular "write your own race" donated by Maryland Jockey Club.

The Corner Stable Columbia is located at 8630 Guilford Road in Columbia’s King Contrivance Village Center. Those wishing to contribute to the fund or to the silent auction are urged to contact the Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Fund office at 410-902-6843 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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