Jump racing suspended at track after 8 deaths

Horse Racing

SOUTHWELL, England — Jump racing was suspended at a British racecourse on Thursday following the death of eight horses at the venue since July 1.

The British Horseracing Authority already was working with the owners of Southwell racecourse to look into the circumstances behind six equine fatalities there from July 1 to Aug. 24.

The death of two more horses at the track in central England on Thursday led to racing being suspended at Southwell.

“This is to allow a comprehensive investigation to take place,” the BHA and Arena Racing Company said in a joint statement. “This involves the racecourse and the BHA’s veterinary team, racecourse department and course inspectors looking into the specific circumstances to understand if there are any common factors.”

In its own statement, the ARC said there would be a full review into all possible factors, “including (but not limited to) fence and hurdle design, track layout and configuration and going as well as GPS speed and timing data.”

There were 173 equine deaths from 91,937 runners in 2019, according to BHA figures, representing a fatality rate of 0.19% of runners. The rate of horses falling last year reached an all-time low of 2.37%.

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