Melbourne Cup: Changes to be introduced after horse deaths

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Stricter checks on overseas runners will be introduced after a report into the deaths of several horses at the Melbourne Cup in Australia.

A total of 41 recommendations including CT scans for overseas entries before and after arrival will be adopted.

The 2019 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck was euthanised after suffering a broken leg in the 2020 Melbourne race.

His soundness was questioned in the weeks beforehand but this was unrelated to his fatal injuries, said the report.

The Melbourne Cup, known as ‘the race that stops a nation’ and traditionally attracting a crowd of about 100,000 people, has been criticised over its safety record.

There have been six equine deaths, all international runners, associated with the race since 2013.

The Cliffsofmoher, a stablemate of Anthony Van Dyck for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, suffered a fatal limb injury in 2018, as did Red Cadeaux three years earlier and Verema in 2013.

Two horses died on the day of the 2014 race – Admire Rakti from rare sudden death syndrome, while Araldo was injured leaving the track when spooked by a flag waved by a spectator.

What changes will be introduced?
The review consulted with dozens of parties including veterinarians, trainers, jockeys, owners, track managers and racing clubs. The main recommendations which will be implemented are:

All international runners will have to undergo precautionary testing before being allowed to travel and diagnostic imaging for each run.
All horses must have a CT scan of their distal (lower leg) limbs before the race and an additional veterinary inspection on the day before.
There will now be a cap of 24 overseas entries at Melbourne’s Spring Carnival, down from the uncapped peak of 42 in 2018.
International horses will only be allowed to start in one other race in Australia in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
Any horse who has suffered a previous fracture, or undergone orthopaedic surgery, will not be allowed to run.

Agencies

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