BHA Investigating Four Deaths At Musselburgh On Monday

BHA Investigating Four Deaths At Musselburgh On Monday

The BHA are seriously investigating what caused four tragic deaths on the Musselburgh card on Monday afternoon.

Officials do not believe conditions at the Scottish circuit were to blame, but it seems beyond coincidence that three of the four incidents happened on the same part of the course.

The Jean McGregor-trained Sierra Oscar pulled up and collapsed fatally more-or-less in the same position as James Moffatt's Smart Ruler did half an hour before; in the entrance to the home straight.

Rebecca Menzies's Leather Belly slipped up on the final turn when prominent, and as a result broke down fatally, whilst Kensukes Kingdom actually won the opening race, but was pulled up immediately when crossing the line, and looked instantly lame.

The news was confirmed after the race by Philip Hobbs, that the 5yo had lost his life.

(Credit: Racing Post) Robin Mounsey - Head of Media at the BHA said: "As the sport's independent regulator, we obviously treat issues such as this very seriously and work will now be undertaken to identify if there are any risk factors at the course or with the horses that might have contributed to these incidents.

"We will work with the racecourse, and the BHA's inspector of courses will be visiting Musselburgh in the coming days to carry out a full inspection.

"Where appropriate some of the horses are also being sent for post-mortems to establish more information, including for one of the horses whose death seems to relate to a sudden collapse," he said.

Musselburgh Chief Executive Bill Farnsworth, offered his condolences to the connections of the four ill-fated horses.

(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "The conditions at Musselburgh yesterday were as good as we've ever experienced.

"The ground was just the soft side of good and horses were making a lovely print in it. They weren't even flicking the turf over and it was just like running on a cushion or deep-bed carpet. There was a full covering of turf and healthy grass, no wind or a cloud in the sky; it couldn't have been a more perfect day for racing in terms of safety.

"I do have every confidence in the track. When you've got more than 10,000 races per year we all know there will be a small number of injuries and even smaller number of fatalities. It's a statistical certainty these things will happen rarely and it would be very strange if these things happened in a nice, even format throughout the year.

"Like car accidents, it doesn't work like that, but my thoughts are with everyone in involved in today's tragedies," he finished.

Scotland's next card comes from Kelso on Sunday 9th December, with racing returning to Musselburgh the following day.