Eclair Surf becomes the second horse to die after Grand National on Saturday | Grand National 2022

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Emma Lavelle, the trainer of Eclair Surf, said on Sunday morning that her eight-year-old gelding had become the second horse to die from an injury sustained during the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, further baffling hopes raised in the immediately after – and widely shared online – that all 40 riders had returned to their stables with “no fatalities” in the race.

Lavelle said on Twitter that Eclair Surf suffered “a traumatic head injury” at the third fence, and after being treated at the racetrack he was transferred to the University of London Equine Hospital. Liverpool, where “he was cared for all night, but very sadly was not to be”.

News of Eclair Surf’s shutdown followed Paul Nolan’s announcement on Saturday night that Discorama had suffered a fatal injury between the 12th and 13th fences. He was the third horse in the last three National races to die from a galloping injury rather than a fall.

This year’s Grand National is the first since 2011 in which two horses suffered fatal injuries. There were no fatalities in six consecutive races between 2013 and 2018, while only one horse died in 2019 and 2021.

Elle Est Belle, coached by Dan Skelton, also died during a race at Aintree on Saturday, after suffering a suspected heart attack before collapsing while breaking in the Mersey Novice Hurdle. Neil Mulholland’s Solwara One, meanwhile, was the first of four horses to die at this year’s meeting, after falling into a handicapped obstacle on Friday.

“We are all extremely saddened by the fatal injuries at the Grand National Festival,” British Horseracing Authority horse health and welfare director James Given said on Sunday, “although no one is more upset than the trainers , the owners and the stable staff who have provided these horses with unparalleled care throughout their lives.

“Following a comprehensive review in 2011-2012, the BHA and Aintree Racecourse worked together to introduce a number of important measures which have helped in the years since to reduce the rate of injuries during of the Grand National meeting.

“However, welfare and safety is an ever-evolving commitment and the BHA is constantly working alongside our racecourses to further improve the sport’s safety record and reduce avoidable risks.”

Screens around the injured horses were visible to millions of viewers, first as the field was run around the third fence on the second circuit, then as they passed to the point where Discorama had previously been ripped off.

Saturday’s race ended almost on time at 5.18pm and Noble Yeats, the 50-1 winner, crossed the line just over nine minutes later. At 5:50 p.m., the Racing TV Twitter feed listed the first 10 horses across the line, with an additional statement that “all horses are fine”. This followed a statement released to broadcasters by the Jockey Club’s on-site racecourse media team which read: ‘All horses are returning to stables. (No fatalities. Further assessment will now be carried out if necessary.)”

Hexham

1.00 Shaw’s Cross
1.30 Hatos
2.05 Marsh Wren
2.40 Without Conviction
3.15 East Street
3.50 Shanroe Street
4.20 Theatre Man 

Windsor 

1.50 Papas Girl
2.20 Monsieur Patat
2.55 Zephina
3.30 Equality
4.05 Yummylicious (nb)
4.40 Maplewood
5.10 He’s A Latchico
5.40 Eklil

Pontefract 

1.55 Comedian Leader
2.30 Cotai Class
3.05 Autumn Festival (nap)
3.40 Huddle Up
4.15 Distinction
4.50 Beggarman
5.20 Esken Rose
5.50 Some Nightmare 

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Quick guide

Greg Wood’s advice for Monday

Show

Hexham

1.00 Shaw Cross
1.30 hatos
2.05 Swamp Wren
2.40 Without condemnation
3.15 East Street
3.50 Shanroe Street
4.20 Theaterman

Windsor

1.50 Dad Daughter
2.20 Mr Patat
2.55 Zephine
3.30 Equality
4.05 Delicious (nb)
4.40 Maple
5.10 He’s a Latchico
5.40 Eklil

Pontefract

1.55 Chief Comedian
2.30 Cotai-class
3.05 Autumn Festival (nap)
3.40 Snuggle up
4.15 Awards
4.50 Beggar
5.20 Esken Rose
5.50 A Nightmare

Thank you for your opinion.

ITV Racing, the Racing Post and At The Races used the same statement as the basis for tweets which have since been deleted. The tweet deleted by At The Races read: “Brilliant news! The 40 riders returned to their stables after the Grand National” with a cheering emoji.

Ed Chamberlin, the main presenter of ITV Racing, was more circumspect, telling viewers shortly before the end of his coverage: “The horses have all returned to the stables too. Some are currently being evaluated, notably Discorama. If we get any news before we go off the air, we’ll bring it to you first.

While the brief course statement did not claim that all runners returned unharmed, the inclusion of the words “no fatalities” raised hopes among fans that the incidents that led to the installation of screens had not been as serious as many had feared. As a result, when news broke nearly three hours after the race that Discorama had been taken down, there was an angry reaction from some social media users, who felt they had been misled. Some also accused the course of trying to cover up the news of Discorama and Eclair Surf’s serious injuries until ITV’s coverage ended.

A spokesperson for Aintree Racecourse said: ‘After the Grand National, we are providing a preliminary update on horse welfare information ahead of ITV showing when racing resumes. This contained precise information provided by the veterinary team. We have confirmed that all horses will return to stables, that there have been no fatalities in the race and that some horses will require further assessment. We then provided media updates based on these additional assessments. We always provide accurate information in a timely manner.

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