A race was stopped and voided during a meeting at Fontwell Park today (30 September) when a horse collapsed mid-run after suffering a heart attack.
Clerk of the course Edward Arkell was forced to deploy the yellow flag after nine-year-old gelding Indiana Bay got into difficulties seven fences in.
The David Dennis-trained horse was pulled up by jockey Kieron Edgar just after passing the winning post on the first circuit of the 3m 1f James Todd & Co Accountants conditional jockeys handicap chase.
He collapsed on the track, and horse and jockey were attended by veterinary and medical staff.
Mr Arkell said he had to put a stop to the race for health and safety reasons, as the horse was lying on a section of the course where there was compromised visibility.
“We had a horse who had a problem and he came down on the racing line on a bend just coming away from the stands,” he said.
“The race had another two circuits to run, so we had no option but to stop the race with the horse prone on the track. With the vet and medical staff there also we couldn’t take the risk.
“In 11 years and however many hundred meetings, I’ve never had to stop a race before. It was one of those things.
“You’d have had jockeys coming round the corner with their heads down, not having seen what happened and it could have caused another incident.
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“If it was on the straight we could have deployed a hazard flag but on a bend, especially like our sharp top bend, you don’t want to be taking that kind of chance.”
Indiana Bay was second favourite in the six-runner race with odds of 10-3. In May this year he won a men’s open point-to-point and had headed a hunter chase 18 months previously.