Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account

Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Palmer groom recounts how he and doctors battled to save Dooley's life

Groom Ken Dooley was found lying in entrance to stable yard
1 of 1

The travelling head lad for Hugo Palmer on Sunday described the efforts to save Ken Dooley after he found him lying on the ground having suffered what he believed was a kick in the face.

Pete McCulloch assisted doctors on course by giving CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] to Amanda Perrett's groom, who tragically died of his injuries before he could be taken to hospital.

"We had three runners last night and shortly after my last runner in the 8.15, Escobar, I was going back to the stable yard to wash him down," recalled McCulloch.

"As I went back to my locker for a scraper around 8.25 I noticed Ken laying down in the entrance to the stable yard.

"Stuart from the BHA security team was there as well. The first thing we did was clear his airway because he was almost choking. It was very apparent he'd had a serious blow to the face. 

"It took a few minutes for medical attention to arrive, and when it did BHA doctor Lucy Free and the on-course doctor instructed me to start CPR immediately.

"From finding Ken till he was pronounced dead was 40 minutes. The defibrillator was used when the paramedics arrived."

Defibrillators are mandatory pieces of equipment on race days with one per ambulance and one in the Jockeys Medical Room. According to the BHA there will be a minimum of three per course on a raceday and sometimes five depending on the number of ambulances.

McCulloch added: "Ken was a regular figure at the races. I knew him to say hello to. I'm good friends with Amanda's travelling head lad Allan McFarlane, who was there as well.

"I have no idea how Ken managed to get to where we found him. It was pretty apparent he got kicked in the stable and somehow made it to where he was. It was at least 100 yards.

"My condolences to his family and friends."

Anyone affected by the incident can seek support through Racing Welfare. There is a 24-hour helpline on 0800 6300 443 and online live chat is also available at

As I went back to my locker for a scraper around 8.25 I noticed Ken laying down in the entrance to the stable yard

Key data

Kempton (A.W)
E.W. Terms
Sky bet