Fund established for jockey killed at NM track

The chaplain’s office at Ruidoso Downs has established a

memorial fund to benefit the family of jockey Mark Villa, who died

in a weekend accident at Zia Park.

The 44-year-old Villa is survived by his 33-year-old wife,

Krystal, and 6-year-old twins Olivia and Garrett.

Villa died Saturday after his horse, Separate Money, fell in the

seventh race. Villa was crawling to the rail when a trailing horse

struck him in the back of the head. He was pronounced dead at a


It was the first jockey fatality at Zia Park since it opened in


Villa, a veteran New Mexico jockey, won 1,726 races during a

career that began in 1983, including the 2009 Ruidoso Derby aboard

Time For A Cigar.

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