RV ramps up review into oseas horse deaths

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Wed 9th December 2020

Champion trainer Chris Waller is among a group of industry experts offering their input as part of a wide-ranging review into the large number of international horse deaths during the Melbourne spring carnival.

Racing Victoria’s investigation was sparked following the fatal injury suffered by Irish raider Anthony Van Dyck during this year’s Melbourne Cup.

It was the latest in a concerning number of international horse fatalities in recent years.

RV will specifically examine the injuries suffered by horses being prepared out of the Werribee International Horse Centre during the past decade.

It plans to interview technical and academic experts, as well as industry participants including Waller and Godolphin’s Australian manager Vin Cox.

The review will examine the nature of the injuries suffered by the horses, risk identification and mitigation strategies and what veterinary and diagnostic information is compiled before and after the horses arrive in Australia.

Training facilities both overseas and in Melbourne will also come under the microscope, along with the presentation of the Flemington track surface on Cup day.

RV is also compiling a fatality report for Anthony Van Dyck which they expect to be completed in the new year.

Giles Thompson, chief executive of RV, said the industry body was committed to undertaking a comprehensive review with horse welfare their highest priority.

“Racing by its very nature carries with it inherent risks of injury to the participants. This review is about ensuring we are pinpointing any identifiable risk of injury to the horses and which mitigation processes will most effectively deal with those risks,” Thompson said.

“Our commitment to equine welfare is of the highest priority and both pieces of work will provide valuable insights, learnings and actions so that our horses can race under the highest of safety standards.”