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I was nowhere near Catterick, yer honour


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THREE racehorses suffered fatal injuries within an hour of each other at a race meeting at Catterick – but racing chiefs say there will be no inquiry.

Racegoers at Catterick witnessed two horses suffer severe leg breaks – which resulted in them being destroyed – while a third collapsed and died of a heart attack on Tuesday, February 26.

The British Horseracing Association said later it was a “very sad” event and incredibly rare to have so many horses die in such a short period.

In the 4.20 hurdle race, Irish-owned Soft Spoken Guy died of a heart attack after finishing, whilst Stop On, an eight-year-old gelding, suffered a broken front leg.

About 30 minutes later, No Way Hozay, owned by County Durham businessman John Wade, broke a hind leg when jumping the last fence in the two mile handicap chase.

Throughout the whole of 2012, only two horses died on the Catterick course.

Animal rights group Animal Aid, which is campaigning to ban the Grand National, claimed the course was too cut up.

Its horse racing consultant, Dene Stansall said: “We owe it to the horses to get to the bottom of these deaths.”

Mr Wade, from Morden, near Sedgefield, said his horse’s death was “just bad luck” and he had no issue with the condition of the course.

The BHA also refuted Animal Aid’s claims.

It said there would be no inquiry, but they routinely collect data on every equine injury or fatality.

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Ground conditions were atrocious. Not the heaviest i've seen but the turf was being displaced very easily. All three horses were injured whilst running between three fences. Think the clerk of the course has been in trouble before.

One stepped in a hole and it's leg snapped right there - think it was Soft Spoken Guy. Poor sod tried to finish the race.

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