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BHA concludes Newton Abbot fatalities due to ‘unique circumstances’

BHA concludes Newton Abbot fatalities due to ‘unique circumstances’
BHA concludes Newton Abbot fatalities due to ‘unique circumstances’

Friday’s meeting at Newton Abbot will go ahead as scheduled after the British Horseracing Authority completed a “thorough assessment” following four equine fatalities at the track last week.

The South Devon circuit hosted a seven-race card for its most recent fixture on ground that was officially good, good to firm in places, and after the unusual number of casualties the sport’s governing body vowed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The BHA said that while the reviews into the individual fatalities are still to be completed, it has determined that the injuries were sustained in “unique circumstances and there appears to be no external factor linking them”.

A statement read: “Following four fatalities at its most recent fixture, the BHA’s racecourse and veterinary teams have worked closely with colleagues at Newton Abbot to understand as best as possible the circumstances behind each incident.

“The BHA’s racecourse and facilities manager is satisfied that there was no issue with the racing surface or any other facility at the track that caused these incidents. This followed an inspection of conditions at Newton Abbot and a thorough assessment of the track’s racing surface maintenance records.

“While the individual equine fatality reviews are ongoing, it has been determined that each injury was sustained in unique circumstances and there appears to be no external factor linking them.

“Newton Abbot’s record demonstrates how rare such occurrences are; in the last two full years, 2022 and 2023, a total of 1,524 runners competed at the track, resulting in three fatalities (defined as a horse being fatally injured as a direct result of their injuries on the raceday or within 48 hours of the raceday).

“This equates to a fatal injury rate of 0.20 per cent, below the current national jumps average of 0.42 per cent.

“In addition, a detailed investigation of the circumstances surrounding each fatality is being conducted by the Fatality Review Group. This process follows every fatality on all racedays.

“The BHA and racecourse veterinary teams will, as always, be on hand at Friday’s meeting to ensure horses are in the best condition for racing, including by carrying out pre-race examinations for all runners.”

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