Animal Aid

Gottany O'S killed in second race at Aintree

Posted 12 April 2012

Just half way through the second race of the three-day Grand National meeting, a horse has been killed at Aintree. Four-year-old gelding Gottany O'S had just jumped the fourth of nine hurdles in the 2.30 race, when it became clear he had sustained a major leg injury. He was destroyed on the course. Perversely, almost immediately after his fatal injury became apparent, the BBC – which is covering the Grand National for the final time before relinquishing coverage to Channel 4 – broadcast a pre-recorded feature on horse safety measures that have recently been introduced at Aintree.

Last year, four horses were killed at the three-day Aintree meeting – two in Saturday’s big race itself.

Gottany O’S was worked hard these past 15 months, with 12 races between February and September 2011, nine of them on Flat turf courses and three on Flat All Weather tracks. Before today’s final fatal race, he had been entered into four events this year – all of them hurdle races. On January 23, at Wetherby, he was pulled up. His regular jockey since the start of 2012 has been Jason Maguire, who was penalised for thrashing last year’s Grand National winner, Ballabriggs.

Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

‘So much of the industry talk in the run-up to Aintree has been about horse safety and the steps that were taken to prevent a repeat of the four fatalities witnessed at last year’s three-day Aintree meeting. Yet, barely had this year’s event got going when Gottany O’S suffered a catastrophic injury that resulted in his destruction. He was a young, inexperienced horse, who had been worked hard over the past 15 months. The fast-paced, frenetic atmosphere of Aintree proved too much for him. His injury was incurred without him actually falling, which begs serious questions about the inherent physical robustness of modern, highly-inbred thoroughbreds, and also what is expected of them at extraordinarily demanding race meetings such as Aintree.’

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