Trainer Richard Todd dead at 61
United Racehorse Trainers Association president Ryan Darby says the passing of veteran trainer Richard Todd, who collapsed and died while going through his regular rounds at Caymanas Park yesterday, has sent shock waves through the racing fraternity. Darby, who described Todd's death as 'sudden and shocking', said he, and Todd's son, Steven, had left the senior Todd in the stables and he seemed to be in good health. Shortly after they were surprised by shouts for Steven to hurry and return to the stable because his father had collapsed.
"Steven and I were there working out (doing exercises) when we got the call. Both of us work out at the same place. We were both at the furlong pole when they shouted to us that his father fell down.
"We initially thought that it was his sugar level that went down, so he (Steven) told them to take him to the nursing bay.
"But when they told us that we had to come, we realised that it was more serious than we thought, and when we reached the stable and saw him lying down we realised that it was very serious," he recounted.
He said he eventually started fearing the worst when the veteran of over 800 wins at Caymanas Park stopped responding.
"When he was on the ground he was alive at some point. But he got a little bit more quiet before the ambulance came, and we weren't hearing any sound or breathing when they took him around (nursing bay)," he revealed
"But he was up and running minutes before that. It was as sudden, as it could have been. So sudden," he lamented
"He was working under normal circumstances minutes before that so it is shocking.
"Condolences to the family. Steve and I hang out every day. And I understand what he's going through, as I lost my father two years ago. But this could not have been more sudden," he said.
Todd is the second prominent trainer to pass on in recent months, following legendary champion trainer Wayne DaCosta who died in March.
Richard, 61, followed in the footsteps of his father LC Todd who was also a racing conditioner. His last winner came on March 20 when the Bronx Connection-owed DANCEALLNIGHT won at 21-1 in a $250,000 claiming race over 1100 metres. He saddled his last runner, INDY ARAZI, in the sixth race at Caymanas Park last Saturday. The horse placed third in the 12-runner field.
The cause of his death has not been ascertained.