Horse Dies And Three Jockeys Suspended In Cheltenham Festival Drama
There was a disturbing event that occurred on the last race on the first day of the festival. Their number of people that fell was twice the number of those that finished and it eventually led to the death of Ballyward. Ballyward started the race as the 9-4 favorite. Just a few moments after the National Hunt Chase, there were three sets of green screens that had been mounted up at different points in the course while the veterans were running around to save the lives of the horses that had fallen. The scene startled the racers that were leaving the site.
Later on, the screens were taken down only to show that the Mulcahys Hills and Atlanta Ablaze managed to struggle to get on their feet. In the course of the event, Just Your Type came from the rear at the final fence to show that it had just fallen. All the three horses were then able to walk again towards the stable block.
Unfortunately, the miracle did not extend to Ballyward as it was euthanized at the landing place of the 17th fence. Finjan Maguire was the only jockey that was taken to the hospital due to his fall on Whispherinthebreeze during the race. No details were given concerning his injuries.
.For two hours, the stewards were busy with the fallout and three jockeys were suspended for trying to continue the race when it was against the horse’s welfare. The horse should have been pulled up. Among those punished was Robert James, the rider of Just Your Type. He was given a 12-day suspension for this offense plus seven days for using a whip on the horse that was no longer responding.
Another rider, Noel McParlan who was the winner of the last year’s festival on Missed Approach was also suspended for eight days and Declan Lavery was suspended for 10 days. They both were suspended for continuing the race when the steward felt that they should not. Damien Skehan also faced an inquiry on the same offense when he returns to the course later this week. Hopefully, their horses did not sustain any injuries. No blame was given to the rider of Ballyward, Patrick Mullins.
The National Hunt Chase is a very important festival and historic race. It is valued by many jump racing fans. It is rare, however, and is now a marathon contest restricted to amateur riders and novices. The continuation of the festival has raised questions in recent times.
While reviewing the safety at Cheltenham, which was reported by the British Horseracing Authority as a result of the seven-horse deaths in last year’s race. It was identified that the race presented a high risk of an incident at the festival. The incidents reported were horses falling down or being brought down. The average rate of this incident increase by 12.7% in the last decade and has now increased as a result of Tuesday’s race.