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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Newbury investigates tragic horse deaths

With racing abandoned after the mysterious death of Fenix Two and Marching Song at Newbury today, Southern Electric have been carrying out tests in the parade ring to see whether the horses were electrocuted.

Clerk of the course, Richard Osgood, said he was unaware of any electric cable under the parade ring. However, reports on Twitter suggest that agricultural contractors aerated the course and paddock this week which may have accidentally damaged a cable.

Two other horses, King Cassidy and The Merry Giant were both said to have been affected. The former being withdrawn. In quite dramatic claims, it was stated that some of the horses had burn marks around their mouths when their tack was removed.

Stipendiary steward Paul Barton said: "After those horses collapsed in the parade ring we took the decision that it was safe to continue with the rest of the meeting. After running the first race we isolated that area and some of the trainers were uncomfortable with continuing.

"We had a meeting with the racecourse executives and at that meeting, because we could not establish what the causes of death of the two horses were, the executives weren't comfortable with continuing on health and safety grounds and therefore we had no decision but to abandon."