The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is now to review what may have led to the animals’ deaths, with one seemingly related to “a sudden collapse”.
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth said: “Our thoughts are with the owners, trainers and stable staff of these horses.
“The ground conditions and weather at Musselburgh Racecourse on December 3 were ideal for racing but, until we have some further information, it would be wrong to speculate as to the cause of these tragic incidents.
“We will work closely with the BHA and assist their investigation to establish what happened and to ensure that Musselburgh continues to adopt best practice for all participants in racing.”
Having multiple deaths in a single day of racing has been described as “very rare” by the regulator.
It said the fatality rate in Britain over the past few years has been reduced to around 0.2 percent of all runners.
Inspectors are due at the racecourse in the coming days. Some of the horses’ remains are also being sent for post-mortem examination to further investigate the causes of death.
BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey added: “The incidents at Musselburgh were extremely distressing for everyone involved in the sport, not least for the owners of the horses and the trainers and stable staff who cared for them through their lives. As the sport’s independent regulator we obviously treat issues such as this very seriously. 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.”
Kensukes Kingdom, the winner of the first race, was put down after pulling up lame; Sierra Oscar incurred what proved to be a fatal leg injury; Leather Billy broke a leg on the bend in the bumper – a flat race run under the rules of jump racing for horses which have not previously run on the flat to get experience; and Smart Ruler died towards the end of a handicap hurdle.
Source : EXPRESS