Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Horse deaths at Grand National could not have been predicted, says report
THE deaths of two horses, including one from North Yorkshire, at this year’s John Smith’s Grand National could not have been foreseen, an investigation has concluded.
According To Pete, which was entered into the race by Peter Nelson, of Helperby, near Thirsk, was brought down after jumping Becher's Brook for the second time, and the 11-year-old suffered an untreatable foreleg fracture and had to be put down by a vet. Race favourite Synchronized, who also suffered a fracture after unseating his rider at the same fence on the first circuit, was also put down.
Following the race, an investigation was launched by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), to look into the circumstances surrounding the deaths, and the problems at the start of the race.
Jamie Stier, director of raceday operations and regulation for the BHA, said the review was conducted using veterinary evidence and detailed analysis of all available television footage.
Mr Stier said: “In the case of both Synchronised and According To Pete, it was apparent that factors one could neither have foreseen nor prevented were prevalent in the events that led to the two horses sustaining their injuries.
“In relation to the start, we reviewed the television footage and members of the Starting team gave their views. We found that in the course of the three occasions on which the field lined up before the race was underway all forty riders appeared to be in breach of the Rules, in that they either lined up prior to being instructed to do so, or lined up despite being instructed not to do so.”
Mr Stier also said the racecourse deserved some credit for changes recommended following a BHA review in 2011.