Rider Airlifted from Fairgrounds After Falling from Horse During Race


Published on August 11 2017 4:27 pm
Last Updated on August 11 2017 4:27 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The final race of the 2017 Effingham County Fair was marred by a rider falling off her horse.

Vicki Aviles was riding Hayday's Payday in the open half-mile race for thoroughbreds when she fell off the horse in the turn at the north end of the racetrack at Altamont. It's not known why Aviles fell.

Track announcer Kurt Becker said he learned that Aviles suffered a cut on her forehead, but was complaining of pain in the cranial area. That led to the decision to airlift Aviles to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield for examination.

Another rider in the race, Reynier Arrieta, who was watching Aviles being loaded aboard a helicopter, said the incident could have been worse. Arrieta said his horse almost stepped on the downed Aviles, but contact was avoided.