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Racecourse deemed safe after deaths of four horses

Musselburgh Racecourse was inspected by the governing body after the deaths on Monday.

Musselburgh: Racecourse deemed fit after inspection.
Musselburgh: Racecourse deemed fit after inspection. Musselburgh Race Course

A racecourse where four horses died in one day has been deemed safe following an inspection.

Musselburgh Racecourse was found to be in excellent condition following the inspection by the British Horseracing Authority on Friday.

Racing's governing body found no issues with track conditions or lay out as the East Lothian course gets ready for its next jumps meeting on Monday.

Four horses died in unrelated incidents at a single meeting on the course earlier this week.

The course general manager said that while the death of any racehorse was regrettable, he was pleased by the outcome of the checks.

Bill Farnsworth said: "The sad deaths of four horses at the one race meeting was, we believe, a unique but unfortunate coincidence and not a reflection on the racing conditions on that day, or of the precautions and procedures we follow at every race meeting staged at Musselburgh.

"The sad deaths of four horses at the one race meeting was, we believe, a unique but unfortunate coincidence and not a reflection on the racing conditions on that day, or of the precautions and procedures we follow at every race meeting staged at Musselburgh."
Bill Farnsworth, General Manager of Musselburgh Racecourse.

"We understand the concerns of the racing industry and the general public following such an unusual chain of events, however we were confident that the deaths were not related to track conditions.

"It was unhelpful to see and hear certain commentators cast doubt over the safety-first approach that we take at Musselburgh and to call in to question our procedures.

"We were heartened to have the support of those closest to the incidents, the trainers and owners of the horses involved, and we extend our condolences to them at this sad time.

"Racing goes ahead on Monday as scheduled and we will endeavour to uphold best practice and to adhere to the highest safety and welfare standards in supporting the owners, trainers, jockeys and horses taking part in racing at Musselburgh."

The British Horseracing Authority said: "We can confirm that Musselburgh's fixture on December 10 will go ahead as planned.

"This is following a thorough inspection by a member of the BHA's team of course inspectors carried out on Friday.

"The BHA are in the process of fully investigating the circumstances surrounding the four fatalities at Musselburgh on Monday.

"Today's course inspection as part of that investigation has been completed and does not suggest there is any reason why Monday's fixture cannot go ahead."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1433477-musselburgh-probe-after-four-horses-die-at-race-meeting/ | default

The course was supported by prominent National Hunt figures including top northern jockey Brian Hughes, and leading Scottish trainer winner Lucinda Russell.

Mr Hughes, a regular competitor at Musselburgh, said: "The course on Monday was as good as I have ridden on in the 13 years I have been riding at Musselburgh.

"The ground was very consistent, the hurdles and fences presented beautifully and in my opinion there were no track issues."

Lucinda Russell, the winning trainer of the 2017 Grand National, said: "I have raced my horses at Musselburgh for years and I will be happy to race them again at Monday's meeting."

Trainer Jimmy Moffatt, whose horse Smart Ruler collapsed in Monday's handicap hurdle, said earlier that he did not have a problem with the course, and having walked it before the race, felt it was in good condition.

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