Some people couldn’t believe their eyes at the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse on 12 November, when a two-horse race came to a dramatic end. Find out about the Rachael Blackmore Cheltenham fall that wasn’t technically a fall – a bizarre incident that occurred with two horses but one went on to win.
Odds-on favourite, My Drogo, who was ridden by Harry Skelton and is trained by Harry’s brother Dan, went head-to-head with Gin On Lime, a Henry de Bromhead-trained mare, ridden by Grand National-winning jockey Rachael Blackmore, in the SSS Super Alloys Novices’ Chase.
My Drogo, who is a six-year-old owned by Mr and Mrs Kelvin-Hughes, was the eye-catcher through the race, taking a lead from Gin On Lime, a six-year-old owned by Robcour, until just after the third last fence, when Harry picked up the lead and went for home.
But then a bizarre incident ensued when both horses jumped the second last and buckled on landing. Their falls were completely independent from each other, but almost identical.
Harry Skelton stood very little chance of staying on board My Drogo and both were none the worse for wear for their tumble. However, Gin On Lime remained central underneath Rachael and the mare scrambled back to her feet. As the soles of Rachael’s feet didn’t touch the ground, the incident wasn’t deemed to be a fall and after Rachael quickly assessed whether Gin On Lime was ok, the pair continued the race and jumped the final fence to win.
Rachael said to Racing TV after the race: “Nothing like that has ever happened to me before and it was an incredible how the race worked out – she’s just such an honest mare to get up and to gallop over the line. She was happy to go forward when I asked her and so it didn’t cross my mind to pull her up.”
Dan Skelton was very philosophical while also talking about the incident to Racing TV.
“My Drogo jumped the fence fine and then knuckled on landing and slid. I was delighted with him the whole way round and he would have won, but at least he is alright,” he explained. “I’m totally relaxed about it and the incident doesn’t mean he is any less of a horse. Fair play to Rachael for staying on – that’s racing for you.”
Both horses were reported unhurt after the race.
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.