A professional jockey sued the Calder Race Course after allegedly suffering multiple severe injuries due to an incident that happened in a race in June 2014.
According to the lawsuit, Zarella Ore claims she was the victim of bullying, harassment, and physical confrontations with fellow jockey Jocelyn Gomez. The suit claims Gomez, “on multiple occasions intentionally tried to harm jockeys other than Ore by intentionally causing or attempting to harm other jockeys by causing improper, dangerous, and illegal contact with other jockeys and/or their horses during races and warm-up activities at Calder.”
The lawsuit states that Gomez repeatedly “verbally harassed, threatened, assaulted, bullied, grabbed, struck, battered, and beat Ore and otherwise placed Ore in danger of grievous bodily harm.” The suit said a week before a race on June 27th, Gomez “attacked and battered” Ore in the jockey room at Calder and told Ore, “I’m gonna *expletive* you up!”
Ore’s attorneys claim Calder knew about the incidents and problems with Gomez leading up to the races on June 27, but “failed to take reasonable action to protect Ore from further attacks by Gomez.”
The lawsuit states that on June 27th, during morning warm-ups, Gomez called and whipped a horse Ore was on in an attempt to make Ore fall from the horse. Ore’s attorneys say police were called to investigate the situation. The lawsuit said Calder “specifically knew about this situation when it occurred or shortly thereafter that morning.”
Later on the same day, the suit says Gomez attacked Ore in the jockey room again and told her, “I’m gonna *expletive* you up real bad!”
During the sixth race of the day at Calder on June 27, the lawsuit claimed that Gomez intentionally caused a “chain reaction between her horse and the other horses between” her horse and Ore’s horse. Ore and her horse fell to the ground during the race.
According to the lawsuit, Ore was airlifted to the hospital for injuries including: a fractured skull, facial fractures, as well as bleeding on the brain. Ore’s lawyers said she was put into a medically induced coma for several weeks and has since suffered from: traumatic brain injury, severe amnesia, severe bodily pain throughout her body, excruciating headaches, serious vision impairments and other medical issues.”
Gomez finished second in the race in which Ore fell, but was later disqualified for illegal interference and suspended for 15 days by Calder, the lawsuit stated.
NBC 6 reached out to Calder Race Course for a comment about the lawsuit. A course official told NBC 6, “We do not comment on pending litigation.” It’s unknown if Gomez has an attorney, but in a phone call with NBC 6’s Dan Krauth she said she denies all of the allegations and caused no intentional harm.
Miami Gardens Police investigated the fall and has handed the case over to the State Attorney’s Office for review to determine if any charges will be filed.