Melbourne Cup 2014: Flags to be banned after Araldo’s death

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

Araldo (left) ridden by Dwayne Dunn is spooked by a patron waving a flag as the horses return to scale after racing in the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Getty Images/Quinn RooneyAdmire Rakti examined before raceWhen horses suffer, so do connections

The VRC and Racing Victoria will dispense with the avenue of honour at Thursday’s Oaks and for Saturday’s Emirates Stakes meetings in a bid to avoid a recurrence of the incident just minutes after the Melbourne Cup that led to the death of Araldo.

The Victoria Racing Club has banned flags in horse areas for the remaining two days of the spring carnival.

Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said security staff would be told to prevent any flags from entering the area near the horses.

On Tuesday, Araldo, a $500,000 purchase from Germany, finished a creditable seventh in the Cup. But as he made his way back to the enclosure down the 150-metre long winners’ race, he was apparently spooked by a woman waving an Australian flag.

He kicked a steel running rail and fractured a cannon bone as he thrashed out in fright. Subsequent scans revealed he had suffered seven fractures. The surgeon said the injured area looked like a “bag of ice”.

Araldo was euthanised some six hours after the race.

The woman who held the Australian flag was hoisted into the air by her partner; he was named by Channel Seven on Wednesday as Michael Schneider.

He was confronted by other racegoers after the incident. In an exchange recorded by Mr Schneider’s partner, one racegoer told him: “A horse got hurt and you thought it was funny…”

Mr Schneider replied: “We’re here to celebrate.”

In a statement to Seven, Mr Schneider said he was a regular visitor to the Cup and flew the flag each year.

Racing Victoria officials have agreed that the Flemington winners’ race, which has welcomed hundreds of group 1 winners over the decades, will not be used for feature races on Thursday or Saturday. Horses going out to race and later returning, will instead use a short gateway just beside the clock tower, directly in front of the mounting yard.

On Wednesday, local trainer Mike Moroney and his staff were still coming to terms with the freak accident that led to Araldo’s death.

“The whole tragedy of the moment impacts on you when you arrive at work and all the staff are just in total disbelief. He was a popular horse and he had such a wonderful career ahead of him,” Moroney said.

Moroney said a group of his owners had just secured the stallion’s younger half-brother Aldo, who will be flown into Melbourne in the next few weeks, also from Germany.

In a Melbourne Cup of great sadness, Japanese stayer Admire Rakti appears to have died from acute heart failure, according to veterinary officials.

The horse’s owner, Riichi Kondo, said through an interpreter on Wednesday morning that the Caulfield Cup winner “has been a great and fantastic horse for us. We are very proud, but we are so very, very upset.

“Everyone associated with our horse cannot believe what has happened, but we are so genuinely thankful for firstly the help of the Australians during this difficult time, but also the many hundreds of well wishers touched us deeply.”

The Japanese entourage with Admire Rakti will leave Australia on Thursday.

Racing Victoria’s chief veterinary surgeon, Dr Brian Stewart, revealed he checked the stallion at Werribee on the morning of the Cup after a request from Bailey.

Dr Stewart said the horse was healthy and described the request from Bailey as “chief steward paranoia”.

Bailey concurred, but said it was common sense to check the horse.

“He [Stewart] is right in what he says, probably a bit of chief steward paranoia. [But] after the Call of the Card [at Crown on Monday afternoon], there was a little bit of easing in the market and some good judges were suggesting that [Admire Rakti, the favourite], couldn’t win,” Bailey said.

“I just felt it was our role – and duty bound – to make sure the public of Australia were protected. After all, it was the favourite in the Cup, to just make doubly, triple, make sure that the horse is OK.”

Dr Stewart found the horse to be healthy and found no indication of the heart failure condition that felled the horse in the stables immediately after the race.

The initial autopsy has confirmed the horse died from heart failure, a condition that Stewart said was common in elite athletes while exercising.

He said the horse was unlikely to have been in pain and described the death as similar to fainting. He said it was a rare event in horses.

In humans it would be treated with a defibrillator to re-regulate the blood flow.

He said a horse-sized defibrillator would be considered in a review of the death but no other racecourses used them.

“It would take a very, very rapid response [to use a defibrillator], but we will review it,” Dr Stewart said.

with Tammy Mills

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