BHA begins Cheltenham investigation after deaths of six horses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is to launch a review after six horses died at last weeks Cheltenham Festival.

During the first day (Tuesday 13 March) of the four-day event, Mossback and Report to Base died, while Sandsend broke a leg in the County Hurdle in a race to the finish on the final day (Friday 16 March).

Also on that final day Some Plan, Dresden and North Hill Harvey all died of injuries sustained in the Grand Annual Chase.

Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said at the conclusion of the festival: “I must first express my sympathy towards to all those who will have loved and cared for the horses who suffered fatal injuries this week. Everyone who follows this sport does so because we love these fine animals and it is extremely sad when we lose any horse.

“The BHA will be reviewing the circumstances leading to the fatalities at the Cheltenham Festival. We will examine the evidence from the past week over the next few days before deciding how we will pursue the review.

“We continue to use research, safety measures, regulation and education to reduce fatality rates to as close to zero as possible. This is what has contributed to the overall fatality rate within British racing reducing by a third in the last 20 years, and the fatality rate in Jump racing reducing to below 0.4% of runners.

“We will also be examining whether the existing penalties for misuse of the whip, and how they apply, constitute an adequate deterrent to jockeys.”

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