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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Two horses collapse and die in Newbury paddock (meeting abandoned)

TWO horses have collapsed and died in the paddock at Newbury before the first race.

Fenix Two and Marching Song both collapsed within ten yards of each other at the western end on the paddock.

Vets have gone to the start to check the remainder of the runners after Kid Cassidy seemed to wobble before leaving the paddock.

Graham Thorner, co-owner of Marching Song, was in tears in the paddock while Kid Cassidy's trainer Nicky Henderson said: "Just before he left the paddock he wobbed but he was okay once on the rubber mats that lead out of paddock."

Andrew Turnell, trainer of Marching Song, added: "I was just about to leg up [jockey] Nick Scholfiled when the horse veered away and collapsed. He was dead within ten seconds. There is a feeling he may have been electrocuted."

Rumours are circulating that there was an electric shock from a cable under the paddock which would affect the horses with aluminium shoes, but not humans, although this has not been confirmed.

The two dead horses have been covered in the paddock and the paddock will not be used for the remainder of the day with the pre-parade ring being used instead.

Latest news: Newbury has been abandoned.